I love curries. The very first time I ever went to an Indian restaurant was with my childhood friend, J.J. Her family brought me to a place in downtown Portland. I had curry, a mango lassi, naan- it was divine. Curries aren’t just spicy; they are hundreds of different varieties. Some can be spicy hot (with multiple chilies); all are chock full of aromatic spices and herbs, including turmeric, cumin, coriander, and ginger.
I cheat when I make curry; I use curry powder. Curry powder is a blend of spices. The idea for curry powder dates back to the 1700’s, first prepared by Indian merchants to be sold to the British Colonial government and army returning to Britain.
This curry is a wet curry, consisting of a gravy made from coconut milk, yogurt and a touch of tomato paste. I love saucy curries- you can pour the sauce over lovely, floral jasmine rice and
dip your generously ghee-slathered naan into it as well.
3 tablespoons ghee
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon paprika
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste
1 pound chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
parsley, for garnish
Naan and jasmine rice, for serving
Heat the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the chicken on all sides, about 4 minutes. Add the onion and saute until lightly browned. Stir in the garlic, curry powder, garam masala, paprika, bay leaf, ginger, sugar, tomato paste and salt. Continue stirring until the mixture is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add in the yogurt and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf and stir in the lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Simmer a few more minutes before plating up with jasmine rice and naan. Enjoy!