A Tale of Two Curries

In baking, curry on July 20, 2010 at 2:04 am

Chicken Curry in a Hurry

Simple Chicken Curry

I have never attempted to cook curry the traditional way. First, it’s too complicated. Too many ingredients. Second, too many ingredients in too little amounts, which means a lot of wastage. If you’re cooking for just one (doesn’t matter if it’s one person or one week’s worth of frozen dinners), you can’t just ask the lady at the market for a thumb of fresh kunyit or 2 cm of galangal. Third, there’s always Brahim’s readymade curries – just add meat!

But since I’m on a mission to conquer the kitchen, here we go. Both curries are western style. Sure, they can never beat the rich and spicy, saliva-inducing Asian curries, but they’re a whole lot easier. Best of all, aside from the meat and vege, you can find most of the ingredients in your pantry, or use the remainder for other purposes (I infused the leftover ginger in my cup of tea).

1. Chicken Curry in a Hurry

I’ve never had curry with apples and mushrooms in it. On recipe, it sounded strange, but it turned out okay. If you want to make a potluck dish, try this because it will be different from what the others have tasted.

As I had made a trip to the wet market before cooking this, I added an extra vege. I don’t know the name. I call it drumstick because it looks like one. It’s very long and the edible part is inside – slimy, translucent beans. It’s usually sold in sticks of three by the Indian vegetable sellers.

Shopping list: chicken, Granny Smith apple, baby carrots, white mushrooms, fresh ginger, sour cream

From the pantry: olive oil (or any other vegetable oil), butter, onion, garlic, curry powder, chicken broth

Can I do it?: A lot of chopping and slicing, and quite a few steps (what goes into the pot first, second and so on…) but it’s not an easy dish to ruin.

Credit: The Working Stiff Cookbook by Bob Sloan

2.  Simple Chicken Curry

Another western style, but the raisins give it a tinge of the Northern Indian/Middle Eastern influence. The only spice in this is curry powder. I might try adding chili or tajine powder next time for an extra ‘kick’. Oh, the recipe also called for dried thyme, but since I didn’t have any, I used McCormick’s Italian herbs (which contains thyme). This is the simpler dish of the two.

This recipe is a two-parter – cooking over the stove and transferring the casserole to the oven to cook the chicken. This makes the meat very tender.

Shopping list: chicken, green or red pepper, dried thyme, tomatoes (I only had one, so I added carrots), lemon juice

From the pantry: cooking oil, onion, garlic, curry powder, currants or raisins, salt, pepper

Optional: I threw in some curry leaves from the garden and cheap bay leaves bought from Syria.

Hardware: oven, casserole (you can use a frying pan, but most are not suitable for oven use as they come with plastic handles)

Can I do it?: This recipe is not called Simple Chicken Curry for nothing.

Credit: Cook’s Kitchen Handbook & 500 Basic Recipes


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