Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kashmiri Style Coconut Chicken Curry

Who loves curry? I do! I do!

It's true, I totally dig curry. There's just something about how all those spices meld together and slide over the palate. Sweet, savory and spicy - no matter, curry is indiscriminate. I love the warmth of cinnamon, the pungency of fenugreek, and the bouquet of coriander. Tonight was an exploration into a whole new region of flavors, Kashmiri. The Kashmir region of India is in the north, bordering Pakistan. I didn't stay true to their style of cooking by adding coconut milk to the curry, but I couldn't help it. I freakin' love coconut in curry.

First off, do you not love these purple carrots I got at the farmer's market? It's kind of sad their beauty will be covered up in a curry. They're gorgeous...

I seriously can't get enough of them. They taste like your average carrot. Well, if your average carrot is an heirloom variety gem organically grown like 20 miles away. I'm so blessed to live in this breadbasket of lovely goodness that is Central California. Here, look at them again. Stoke your jealousy of my lovely carrots...

Okay, I promise I'm done being a total freak for the remainder of this post.

Anyways, I'm still learning about all the different regions of India and the associated cooking styles. It's really quite fascinating how different the food is from region to least to complete food dorks like me. Now this creation I've made here isn't a traditional recipe in any sense, more like a catch-all dish I used to clean out the veggie shelf. (I hope the Kashmiri people aren't offended I've bastardized their cuisine. If bad.) So, if you're interested in duplicating, don't feel beholden to a recipe. Besides, recipes are soooo boring.

By the way, I used World Spice's blend for curry powder. It could have used a little more heat and was a teensy bit heavy on the cassia, in my opinion, but Husband loved it. Two big bowls of it loved it. If you have everything and want to blend it yourself, it contains cardamom, cassia, clove, fennel, Guajillo chilies, cumin, coriander and turmeric. I added a pinch of fenugreek. This was a pretty mild dish all in all. I think next time I'll kick it up with a hot chile or two. Oh yeah...

Kashmiri Style Coconut Chicken Curry

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons oil
1 lb. chicken, cubed roughly
1 onion, slivered
3 cloves garlic, minced
20 oz. coconut milk
3 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 1/2 lbs. assorted vegetables (I used zucchini, patty pan squash, carrots, and mushrooms)
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
salt to taste (and it'll take more than you think it will, so taste often and season appropriately)

1. Melt the butter in the oil and sear the chicken breast over medium high heat.

2. When the chicken is cooked nearly through add the slivered onion. When the onion softens add the garlic, cook until fragrant.

3. Add coconut milk, reserving a couple ounces. Mix curry powder with coconut milk to make a slurry. Add curry slurry (giggle) to pan. Mix well

4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to keep at a steady simmer. Cover and let simmer for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Add vegetables and cilantro, return to a simmer. Cover and cook vegetables through, about 15 minutes depending on types of vegetables.

6. Remove lid and cook for further ten minutes, stirring every minute or so, until curry has reduced to desired thickness.

7. Serve over jasmine/basmati rice.


[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

This looks so yummy. I haven't had much experience with Indian regional cooking and haven't tried a Kashmiri curry. Now, I'm so curious after seeing your version.

Sweet Bird said...

I hope you do, the different regions have so much to offer!