Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Indian Chicken Curry

I've been doing a lot of research on Indian Cuisine lately and have come up with a whole lot of conflicting information - Northern vs. Southern, regional recipes, traditional recipes, signature recipes, etc. that over the years have all been combined, mixed up, combined again, mis-named, re-named, and now we have it.

But, I've created a great curry that is delicious and very close to what most Indians would agree is a Tikka Masala, with yogurt or cream added.

You can modify this recipe in the ingredients you throw in. This morning, I had to make 2 meals (lunch and dinner) for myself to take to work. I am too too busy, and not exactly rich, so I need to cook & can't eat out.
Today, I made it vegetarian with extra firm tofu, rinsed chick peas, and of course, the garnish of chopped onions, cilantro, and cucumber.

But no matter what you put in it (chicken for most) the sauce goes like this:

2 T Canola Oil
1 small onion, diced finely
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger
1 T brown sugar
2 T masala spices (email me for the exact ingredients and I'll direct you)
1/2 small can of tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
3 spoonfuls of yogurt
1/4 cup heavy cream

Optional Ingredients:
Chunks of chicken breast, tofu cubes, chick peas, peas, spinach, paneer

Chopped cilantro, red onion, cucumber (For me, this is a must!)

Begin by gently sweating/sauteeing diced onions in the oil, in a large skillet. After about 10 minutes, add the 2 T of spices and stir. Cook for another 2-3 mins on low/medium heat. Add in the paste and tomatoes, sugar, ginger & garlic. Stir and let simmer.
Add in your optional chosen ingredients and continue to cook. If you use chicken, add 1/2 cup water to your sauce and let simmer until the water reduces and the chicken is cooked through. If you use tofu or other vegetarian ingredients, do not use the extra water.

Seperately, mix the yogurt and cream together.

Once the optional ingredients are cooked or heated through, add in the yogurt/cream mixture and let heat thoroughly.
Stir to combine fully.

Serve with Jasmine Rice, naan, and the garnish.

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