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22 February 2015 @ 10:04 pm
Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries: Week Twenty-Three: Kaju Chicken in Kaala Masala  
For a moment I thought that said kaiju chicken, would have have made this quite a bit more disappointing. Checking the internet tells me that kaju means cashew, which is rather less exciting.

Much like this curry! Heyooooooo!

I feel a bit bad writing another curry where it’s mostly just “meh.” I was going to opine that it might be something about the chicken, since boneless skinless chicken breast is not particularly flavorful by itself compared to something like short ribs, but on further reflection both chicken rizzala and murgh makhani were very good. Kaju chicken was not. But it wasn’t bad. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is another meh entrant to Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries.

It even had peppers we bought especially for it!

It was just...tasteless. And let me tell you, while it’s hard to write a proper blog post about a curry I wasn’t wild about, it’s really hard to write one about a curry that was totally bland and unmemorable in every way. The few moments of excitement came when I would bite into a remaining whole cashew nut, and when I got annoyed with how little taste there was and actually added some salt, which I almost never do it anything (though I do have the habit of getting salt cravings, but when that happens I just pour some on my hand and lick it off). The salt added enough flavor that I was willing to finish it off, but it’s hard to say how of that was due to the increased flavor and how much of it was due to me wanting a filling meal due to the disaster that happened earlier and how much is just due to me generally eating an enormous amount of food. Seriously people, you don’t even know.

...okay, I do these posts every week, so you probably do know.

Frying onions mixed with other ingredients!  photo emot-hellyeah.gif

Words from the Chef
There were so few ingredients in this curry that I double checked about 5 times to make sure I wasn't screwing anything up. Once again I wonder if this would have turned out better if I had a Vitamix instead of my tiny but reliable food processor. I just can't get things as fine as I want to so it doesn't look as pretty. This curry requires lots of nuts and lots of pureeing. I don't know how they got the orange color in the book because there is nothing in it to color it orange. The cashews had a nice flavor and the chicken was tender but it didn't have much going for it, especially given the bath I got when I turned on the food processor. I think in terms of effort vs. flavor, there's just too much effort for too little flavor for me.

The best parts of the meal were those three cashews on top of the curry and the bok choy on the side.

As softlykarou says, it’s possible that this is an unfair review, since the curry in the book is a thick, rich marmalade color and our version of it was definitely not. I don’t see anything in the ingredients that would give it that color, either, so I’m not sure if we actually did anything wrong or if the photo is just misleading. 50 Great Curries of India just attributes it to “dark colored spices,” but 1.5 teaspoons of cumin is not enough to turn the whole curry that color. Well, I’m going to write about the curry we had, not the curry that the book claims it makes, and that curry is barely worth writing anything about.

Would I Eat It Again?: If it were the only thing available, I guess.
Do I Prefer It to the Usual Thai Curry?: There’s no “it” to prefer.
What Would I Change?: Stuff it full of vegetables. Maybe if it had brussel sprouts or tomatoes or asparagus or some other flavorful vegetable in it the broth would have tasted like something.
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
Current Music: Abject Suffering podcast
dorchadasdorchadas on February 24th, 2015 12:33 am (UTC)
I figured it might be something like that too, but the only psices listed are cloves, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon. It's possible that the recipe was wrong...