Slap-Your-Mama Chicken Curry

Put the following into a food processor:

  • Half a large onion
  • 5 or 6 or 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 3-or-4-inch piece of ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • .5 tsp ground cumin
  • .5 tsp black pepper
  • a few shakes of turmeric
  • about tsp of kosher salt
  • .5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 or 5 small canned whole tomatoes (or whatever you get from a 14 oz drained can of whole peeled tomatoes)
  • .5 cup of water

Puree this until well combined and set it aside.

For the rest of the dish, you’ll need:

  • The other half of the onion you used for the curry paste, sliced thinly
  • 2 cups of plain yogurt, at least 2% fat content (not fat-free, don’t skimp on this)
  • approx. 2 pounds of boneless chicken thighs (I have also used leftover thanksgiving turkey and chicken breast, but nothing is better for this than thigh meat)—chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1/3 cup water
  • couple big TB of chopped cilantro
  • Rice, preferably basmati or brown
  1. In a large saute pan, heat some canola oil at medium/medium-high
  2. Saute the onion until they get some good color
  3. Add the curry paste from your food processor, pull the heat down to mediumish. Cook and stir frequently for about ten minutes.
  4. Add in about a cup (maybe a little less) of the yogurt and keep gently simmering another ten minutes. It will thicken up a lot and most of the liquid from the yogurt will cook away. Keep stirring and scraping.
  5. Add the chicken, remaining yogurt, and water. Let it come back to a simmer and go until the chicken is cooked through, depending on the size of your chunks, about ten minutes more.
  6. Now take the chicken back out with a slotted spoon, set it aside.
  7. Bring the heat back up and thicken the sauce until it’s where you want it…I like it pretty well thickened, but it’s just a few more minutes.
  8. Gently salt and pepper everything as you go, by now it’s probably fine, but taste to be sure.
  9. Recombine everything and serve over rice, with the cilantro for garnish.

You could probably add some golden raisins to this, or, if you like the heat, add some jalapeno to the curry paste. The real magic is in the repeated cooking-down of the curry as you build the flavors together. Inspired by and adapted from The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper, which is a terrific cookbook.

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