Three Tips to Easy Curry
I love Curry. I’ve made a few different kinds and some are easier than others. My favorites are simple Indian curries whose rich flavor has bright herbal accents from the combination of cilantro and mint. This is a recipe for on of my favorites, if only for its ease and versatility. Follow these tips to really make it shine:
- The trick to making this curry, and others, extra delicious is, as always—patience. Cook the onions, ginger and garlic mixture over low heat until well caramelized. They should be sticky, sweet and golden brown. Only then add the rest of the ingredients. This will give your curry the base it needs to support the rest of the flavors.
- Also, if using meats, cook them slowly and let the juices combine with the rest of the dish, let them pass through their initial tenderness stage and wait until they are very soft, this will enhance the flavors of the curry.
- When adding yogurt and fresh herbs, let the curry cool. The heat and oil will wilt your herbs and break (separate the fats from the solids) the yogurt. Once, it has cooled slightly, add the remaining ingredients and serve immediately.
I used the basic steps the other night to make a vegetarian version with carrots and Napa cabbage and it was delicious. On top of a brown basmati rice, that had been tossed with saffron water and cooked with cinnamon, cloves, pecans and currants, it brought a spicy, complex but complementary flavor to the dish.
Try this recipe with your favorite grain and hot naan, pita or whole wheat tortillas. For a side sauce, blend a half a cucumber, one jalapeno, two tablespoons of lemon juice and a pint of Greek yogurt, salt and pepper to taste.
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp ginger, minced
- 2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamon
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 large tomatoes, large diced
- 6 chicken thighs, chopped
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- Heat ghee (clarified butter) or oil over medium high heat until it shimmers. Saute onions until beginning to brown, about 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and ginger and herbs. Saute until acutely fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste and saute for another 2 minutes, until paste has begun to form a light brown layer on the bottom of the pan. Deglaze with water and mix in the frond (the dark crust on the bottom of the pan).
- Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes, tossing gently. Add chicken, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until chicken is tender and soft, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover and let cool for five minutes.
- Add garam masala if using, mint, cilantro and yogurt. Season to taste and serve over steamed rice.