Curry . . . for non-believers

8 Mar

Shockingly, not everyone likes curry. Or thinks they like curry. It was my turn to feed a group I meet with weekly. One of the group was celebrating a milestone birthday and her UK roots guarantees a love of curry. But I was uncertain as to the taste buds of the other six mouths around the table when it came to curry. What to do?

Coconut Chicken Curry (for all palates)

Coconut Chicken Curry (for all palates)

In my experience, everyone loves food containing coconut milk (assuming no coconut allergies). I was willing to bet a curry bathed in a coconut milk might win over the ‘curry unconvinced’. With a little on-line searching, I stumbled across a basic coconut curry recipe offered by a husband (Adam, the home cook) and wife (Jennifer, the blogger) team. You’ll find their Basic Coconut Curry recipe here. Their recipe is designed to use whatever vegetables or protein sources you, the season or your family favour. They claim their curry is greeted with great gusto by the two children in their household. A good sign for the crowd I needed to feed!

Assemble ingredients - chicken, coconut milk, passata, onion, red pepper, cauliflower, red curry paste

Assemble ingredients – chicken, coconut milk, passata, onion, red pepper, cauliflower, red curry paste

Here’s my adaptation of New Home Economics’ recipe:

CHICKEN COCONUT CURRY                        Makes: 8 adult servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs/ 1.36 kg                        skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 large                                     sweet Vidalia onion, thinly sliced vertically
  • 1 small                                    head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 2 v. large                                carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 small                                    sweet red pepper, diced small
  • 1 cup  (250 mL)                    frozen peas
  • 2 cans (398 mL each)         coconut milk, well-skaken before using
  • 1 cup (250 mL)                     Passata (strained, crushed tomatoes)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL)                     red Thai curry paste
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL)                    brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL)                    soy sauce
  • to taste                                   red pepper flakes
  • 2                                              limes, quartered to pass at the table
  • to taste                                   cilantro, roughly chopped for garnish
  • according to package or taste — cooked brown Basmati rice to serve 8
Prep all vegetable before starting to cook.

Prep all vegetable before starting to cook.

Directions:

1.     In a large skillet over Medium, heat a swirl or two of EVOO. Brown raw chicken cubes (in batches if need be, to avoid ‘boiling’ them instead of browning). Set aside.

Brown cubes of skinless, boneless chicken breasts in skillet. Set aside.

Brown cubes of skinless, boneless chicken breasts in skillet. Set aside.

2.     Set a large (non-stick) wok over Medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add 2/3rds of 1 can of coconut milk. Stirring occasionally, allow the milk to come to a slow boil.  Allow it to boil on low for 3 – 5 minutes (until the milk releases a sweet coconut aroma).

3.     Add the 2 tablespoons of curry paste, stirring it into the milk until it has melted and turned the milk pink (about 2 – 3 minutes).

Cook 1/3 of coconut milk and 2 Tbsp of Thai red chili paste.

Cook 1/3 of coconut milk and 2 Tbsp of Thai red chili paste.

4.     Add the sliced onions, diced carrots and cauliflower florets to the pan along with the remaining 1 + 1/3rds cans of coconut milk, brown sugar, red pepper flakes (if using) and soy sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce heat to allow the vegetables to simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add cauliflower florets, onions and diced carrots . . .

Add cauliflower florets, onions and diced carrots . . .

. . . balance of coconut milk, brown sugar and soy sauce.

. . . balance of coconut milk, brown sugar and soy sauce.

Simmer vegetables for 10 minutes.

Simmer vegetables for 10 minutes.

5.      My wok was full at this stage, so I placed the browned chicken cubes into a Dutch oven, then carefully ladled the coconut milk/vegetables overtop of them. Simmer another 5 minutes to finish cooking the chicken and meld the flavours.

Add browned chicken cubes and simmer 5 minutes more before adding diced red pepper and frozen peas.

Add browned chicken cubes and simmer 5 minutes more before adding diced red pepper and frozen peas.

[The curry can be prepared to this point, cooled and refrigerated. When ready to serve, let pot come to room temperature and then reheat over a burner, slowly raising the heat to prevent the coconut milk from separating.]

6.      Five minutes before serving, add the finely diced sweet red pepper and frozen peas, allowing the curry to simmer for 5 minutes.

7.      Serve curry over steamed brown Basmati rice, give it a squeeze of fresh juice from a lime quarter. Garnish with cilantro to taste.

Serve over brown basmati rice, spritz with fresh lime juice & garnish with cilantro.

Serve over brown Basmati rice, spritz with fresh lime juice & garnish with cilantro.

Any leftovers can be stored with rice on bottom. Reheat in microwave, covered and very slowly, raising the power levels as you go. For example (per serving): 2 minutes at 50%,  3 minutes at 70% and then 1 1/2 minutes at 100%. This curry may be frozen, but I would press a layer of plastic wrap or waxed paper directly on top of the food. Use well within a 3 month storage period. coconut milk can separate if frozen too long, uncovered or re-heated too quickly. The dish above was refrigerated for 2 days and reheated in the microwave, so the sauce is not as glossy-looking as the day it was made.

 

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One Response to “Curry . . . for non-believers”

  1. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy March 9, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    Super Yummy!!!!

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