How to change up my chicken curry?
Below is my usual method for making chicken curry. I'll be doing it tonight, but does anyone have any interesting changes? It's such a quick meal for when I get home from work late, but I hate to repeat it too much.
Cut up chicken into small strips. Sprinle with salt, pepper, curry powder. Brown in small amount olive oil; set aside. Add thin-sliced onion and red pepper; saute until softened. Add garlic, saute one minute. Stir chicken back in. Add dollop of curry paste, diced tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer. After a few minutes, uncover, add squeeze of lime juice and coconut milk to taste; simmer a few minutes to reduce and thicken. At the last minute, I stir in a dollop of yogurt spread (you could do butter) to add a bit of smoothness.
I serve it over basmati with a cucumber and dill salad on the side. It's quite good - a poor imitation of my favorite Indian restaurant, but it's tasty and easy. But what can I do to change it up? I did it with beef once, and it was delicious, but it ultimately was about the same sauce.
Use a vegetable oil with a high smoking point and get it nice and hot in a wok style pan, add some mustard seeds and kari leaves to the oil. When the mustard seeds start to pop add the chicken, this will change your flavor base just a little, if you can find them or you have them you could use a little fenugreek and/or nigella seeds as well. Indian cooks favor shallots over regular onions, and they are also not afraid to take those onions beyond the regular saute until soft stage, they'll often saute until they start to brown and crisp a bit. I add a finely diced serrano to the shallots and garlic to brighten the heat.
What kind of curry paste are you using? I like to add a really generous amount of my favorite curry powder (I know I know, it's not very authentic, but it's a time saver) to a tomato sauce, I simmer for about 25-30, minutes and add fresh chopped cilantro and scallions, and heat through. Then I stir in a small container of strained Greek yogurt, but warm gently don't bring to a boil.
I like your coconut milk variation, I may have to give that a try.
I make a raisin and shallot pilaf with coconut milk that's great with a nice rich curry.
Went to my girlfriend's grandmother's house for lunch yesterday and this is what she served. But what I thought was the most awesome thing about it was she put out all of these things to try on top (kinda whatever you have around) bananas, tomatoes, mango, raisins, chutney etc. Was great, and she varies it depending on what's in her fridge.
Someone else asked about what kind of paste you're using - is it too obvious to suggest that you try a different paste? I think varying the veggies is another way to make it a different dish; maybe go half chicken and half a veggie and start switching up what kind of vegetable goes in? That can make a big difference to the overall experience... I buy a lot of Indian sauce and eat it over chicken, shrimp, chickpeas, spinach and rice... in different combinations. I also love eggplant curry though I've never personally been able to get it to come out the way I've had it at restaurants. I also once had curry with bananas in it but that was a little too much for me to try making at home, even though it was pretty good and very different.