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Indian Chicken Curry

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Recipe adopted from The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook.

This past week I was flipping through my newest Williams-Sonoma cookbook and noticed the keyword 'Indian' in one of the recipe names.  In an effort to become more familiar with different types of Indian cuisine, I knew I had to give it a try.  Different than most Indian dishes I've had, this one includes coconut milk as a main flavor, lets you make your own curry paste, and does not have any cinnamon (often used in garam masala blends).  It almost reminded me more-so of some southern Thai dishes that I've had.  Although I enjoyed the flavor profile along with the variety of textures (thanks to the cashews), I think I'll try and find a slightly thicker and creamier curry for my next Indian dish.

INGREDIENTS:

2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/4 cup unsalted cashews
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons clarified butter or canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon seeded and minced green jalapeno chile
2 bay leaves
2 star anise
2 small tomatoes, seeded and cubed

1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

The night before (or several hours before) you plan on cooking the curry, make the marinade by first toasting and grinding the coriander and cumin seeds.  In a bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, turmeric  1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, cayenne pepper, and oil until fully mixed.  Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces.  Toss the chicken with spice paste (curry) and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 1 to 12 hours.

Toast the cashews and then chop coarsely.  Reserve for garnish.

Over medium high heat, heat the clarified butter (ghee) in a saute pan.  Add the onion and saute for 4 minutes.  Add the garlic, ginger, chile, bay leaves, and star anise and saute for an additional 7 minutes.  Add the marinated chicken and saute until the chicken is no longer visually raw on the outside.  Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a gentle boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the chicken is tender (roughly 20 minutes).  Stir in the freshly squeezed lemon juice and simmer for 5 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro, cashews, and serve alongside some basmati rice.

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