Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Spice is Nice

Fall is upon us, and typically the temperature of the air is directly proportionate to the amount of rich, aromatic spices I use in cooking. As the outside temps cool off, the general spiciness of my meals heat up. Spice cupboards always need a "fall cleaning." If you find spices hanging around that have been there for over a year, it's time to give them the boot, unless they start paying you rent. In fact, the length of their lease should really be about 6 months, if you're being strict about it.

Always a mystery is, what on earth made me decide to buy such a large quantity of a spice I rarely use? Is that curry powder back there? What made me think I needed that much curry powder? Did I decide I was going to master a new cuisine because I'm such a worldly New Yorker now? Didn't I realize that Indian restaurants deliver $4 curry dishes at all hours?

Didn't I understand that curry powder is at its best flavor for only about 2 months??

You get the gist. I needed to do something with this particular spice blend (yes, curry powder is a blend of, like, 20 other spices). I was so excited that Chelsea Market was selling bulk spices for cheap, that I had ditched my rule of buying ground spices in small quantities. So I was in possession of a whole lot of it. Chicken + curry powder is usually a safe and tasty combo. This recipe is fast and easy.

Recipe for Spicy Chicken Curry:
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I like Fage)
  • Kosher salt
  • Serve over cooked rice

In a heavy pot with a lid, melt the butter over medium heat, and stir in the onion, garlic, and ginger. Stir occasionally until soft, and then stir in the curry powder, cumin, cardamom, cayenne, and some salt. Stir in the pieces of chicken and brown the outside for a few minutes. Mix in the tomatoes and yogurt. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook on medium-low heat for about 8-10 minutes. Taste for salt - it will probably need it - and stir in the fresh cilantro. Serve the spicy chicken curry over rice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ooooo this is exactly what I was in the mood for! You must have inherited my taste buds. Yum Yum.
Love you, punkin.