Saturday, 5 December 2009
Back in the 1970's my ex husband and I were posted to BATUS (British Army Training Unit Services) in Suffield, Alberta which is where I tasted curry for the very first time and fell in love. My friend Cathy Giles, who was a Liverpudlian, made me my very first curry and it was pure heaven.
She added a whole bottle of curry powder, so it was a bit spicy, but again . . . it was lovely. I find at my advancing age though, and with a husband in his 70's we can't handle too spicy these days, so you'll find that our curry is always on the milder side.
Over here in the UK, Curry is like a National Dish. Kind of a hangover from the British colonial days in India I guess. I reckon there are as many curry houses over here as there are fish and chip shops and chips with curry sauce ladles over are a very popular dish up North. Most Friday nights out with the guys or gals end up in a curry house . . . no surprise there.
I think curry is something that you either love or you hate.
We just happen to love it. Just the smell of it cooking gets my tastebuds tingling . . . but I know other people that get a whiff of it and want to gag and run for the hills.
I guess it's all a matter of taste, and . . . as my mother always said, there's no accounting for some people's tastes . . .
I'm rather lazy when it comes to curries though, especially when I only have a little bit of time to throw a quick dinner together during my lunch break. This is one of my quick, cheap and cheerful dinners. A bit of pilau rice, some naan (To sop up all that lovely sauce), an onion bhajis or two or three . . . some samosas, and we are in curry house heaven!
(Grrr . . . just noticed I forgot to scatter on the coriander before I took these pictures, but . . . I'm sure you'll forgive me won't you?)
*Chicken Curry in a Hurry*
This beats anything that comes out of a jar hands down. It's so easy and quick too!
2 ounces butter
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 inches of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
(I use my microplane grater)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1/2 tsp ground mild chili powder
2 ounces blanched almonds, chopped
2 bay leaves
500g of chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
6 ounces boiling water
150ml coconut cream
salt and pepper to taste
150ml of single cream
150g of thick plain yoghurt
2 TBS chopped coriander leaves to garnish
Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook for about 5 minutes without colouring. Stir in the spices, bay leaves and nuts. Cook for 3 minutes, until very fragrant, stirring constantly. Add the chicken chunks, and stir around and cook for several minutes, until beginning to brown a bit. Pour on the boiling water, along with the coconut cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Leave to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken is quite tender. Mix the yoghurt and cream together and whisk into the chicken. Heat gently without allowing it to boil. It will curdle if it boils. Scatter over the chopped coriander and then serve immediately with some pilau rice and or naan bread.