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26 July 2015 @ 08:15 pm
Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries: C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER THREE: Kashmiri Chicken Curry  
Welcome back, everyone!

After a brief hiatus caused by softlykarou and I going to Oregon for two weeks, we're back on the schedule. But before we plunge into the vegetarian curries, I figured it'd be good to do a third, and probably last, combo breaker with the first curry that we ever made together as a couple, in our first apartment just after we got married. Knowing my interest in stir-fries, my parents gave us a copy of a book called Best-Ever Book of Wok and Stir-Fry Cooking. We made a few recipes from the book, some of which I thought came from elsewhere--the hijiki chicken recipe got a lot of mileage when we were in Japan and I was sure we had pulled it from the internet somewhere--but the one I always remembered is this one. And while it's not from the book 50 Great Curries of India, it is a great curry from India, so it fits the theme better than Thai curry and way better than カツカレー.


Coconut oil and ghee in the background not actually part of the recipe.

I was surprised at how nostalgic I got for our first apartment just from the smell of this curry. It has a very distinctive spicy-sweet smell from the apples, and when I walked by the kitchen to get something, the smell drew me in.

The taste is pretty mild, and nowadays I'd generally prefer spicier curries, but the apples really made it stand out. That's the hook that the book takes too, since the only description the curry has is "This mild yet flavoursome dish is given a special lift by the addition of sliced apples." They provide a nice bit of sweet every time you bite into them that works through the rest of the spices and help compliment the almonds. You're supposed to put sliced almonds over the top as well, though this time we forgot to buy them and just sprinkled a bit more almond flour over the top. I don't think it made that much of a difference, but I might ask softlykarou to get some almonds during the week so that when we have the leftovers we can put the almonds on those. The crunch of the almonds is part of my old memories of this curry, after all.


The most important ingredient.

Words from the Chef
This curry is a familiar curry and it's funny, because it seems so simple now. I remember stressing the first time I made it because I didn't have ground almonds adn just used extra slivered ones. Now I have to laugh just a little at those thoughts. This curry is an easy to make curry with a very light flavor. I love the apples in it, they give a nice bite to it and work well with the almonds. One thing that I did have to remember is not to let the onions brown! It's so different from my recent lessons in "let the onions nearly burn". It's fitting that this curry had 2 apples in it, most of our upcoming curries are fruit curries!



A sane amount of onions, unlike some curries I could name.

I talk a lot about Thai curry because we ate so much of it while softlykarou was in school, but this was the curry gateway drug for me. A lot of my food tastes didn't really develop until much later in life. I drink four or five cups of tea a day now, but I think the first cup of tea I ever tried was green tea at Swordfish because ashiri_chan suggested it, and that was less than ten years ago. I eat a Japanese-breakfast every day, and I love it so much that I look forward to it every day and don't actually like going out to brunch that much because what restaurant in America is going to serve pickles and rice for brunch, and I only started that five years ago. I remember I was skeptical of the apples in it, but it won me over then and it's still just as good now.


The apples even stand out color-wise.

I remember feeling like this curry took a lot of effort when we first tried to make it, but this is nothing cmopared to the really involved curries like korma pulao. It's not as simple as Thai curry, but I don't think anything in 50 Great Curries of India is that simple either, so it's not really a fair comparison. I just know that this will probably re-enter our food rotation after a long time away, so I'm glad we pulled it off the shelf and featured it as this week's curry.

And I'm really looking forward to that hijiki chicken too, even if I won't be posting about it.

Would I Eat It Again?: Definitely!
Do I Prefer It to the Usual Thai Curry?: I don't, but I could see myself eating this week-in, week-out, just for different reasons. But it requires vegetables on the side, so it's not quite a complete meal like Thai curry is.
What Would I Change?: I'm not sure it's possible to add more vegetables without ruining the balance of flavors that give it its taste, but that's what I might want to try.
 
 
Current Mood: fullfull
Current Music: Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-men podcast
 
 
 
Ashley <3: Light Watercolorashiri_chan on July 27th, 2015 01:21 am (UTC)
Oh man, Swordfish. I had no idea that I got you into green tea. Go me, I guess. lol
dorchadas: Green Skydorchadas on July 27th, 2015 02:25 am (UTC)
Yep! All the tea-drinking I do now is thanks to you.  photo Emot-neckbeard.gif
Joelkraada on July 27th, 2015 01:55 pm (UTC)
Post the recipe please? Your description makes this sound like a big winner for our house.
dorchadasdorchadas on July 28th, 2015 03:22 am (UTC)
Kashmiri Chicken Curry
Here we go!

Ingredients
2 tsp oil
2 medium onions, diced
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
1 inch cinnamon stick
4 black peppercorns
1 baby chicken
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp crushed fresh ginger
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground almonds
2/3 cup plain yogurt
2 green apples, sliced
1 tbsp friend cilantro
1/2 oz sliced almonds


Instructions

  1. Heat oil in pan and fry onions with bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, and peppercorns for 3-5 minutes. Don't brown the onions.

  2. Add chicken pieces and continue stir-frying for another 3 minutes.

  3. Lower heat and add garam masala, ginger, garlic, salt, chili powder, and ground almonds and stir for 2-3 minutes.

  4. Pour in yogurt and stir for a couple more minutes.

  5. Add apples and chopped cilantro, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes until chicken is cooked

  6. Garnish with sliced almonds and fresh cilantro, serve. with rice
Let me know how you like it!

Oh, have you tried the Thai curry yet? How did you like that?
Joelkraada on July 28th, 2015 01:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Kashmiri Chicken Curry
Will do!

We have tried Thai curry - I got the two more mild pastes from Amazon, and we've tried the most mild so far. It was . . . hotter than we're used to. In a good way, but we have touchy stomachs so have to be careful. What we ended up doing was freezing ice cubes worth of the paste so we can be more judicious about how much to end up using. I'm glad we found it though as apparently Becky has been seeing requests for it and now knows what to use.
dorchadasdorchadas on July 30th, 2015 03:04 am (UTC)
Re: Kashmiri Chicken Curry
I'm glad you liked it! And that ice cube trick is brilliant.