Sunday, May 20, 2012

Kolivartha Curry

I few days ago I handed Ross one of my curry books and told him to pick a chicken dish.  Sometimes meal planning and shopping lists  happen more easily when delegated this way.  This recipe below was the one he chose.  His reasoning?  We already had most of the ingredient list.  Gotta love the man who knows the content of the pantry.

From what I could gather this chicken curry dish is hails from the Chettinad region of Southern Indian. I am hardly an expert in Indian fare, though I adore curries from all over the subcontinent.  Please let me know if you have further tidbits on this culinary destination

Adapted form the Curry Bible by Jacki Passmore

serves 4

The Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into tenders
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch finger fresh ginger, minced
1 onion, diced
1 large tomato, deseeded and diced
2 Tbsp ghee or oil
1/2 cup finely ground almonds or cashews
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 - 1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
2-3 whole cloves
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
salt to taste
fresh lemon or lime
chopped cilantro to serve

The Process:
Rinse the chicken tenders and pat dry,

In a blender or food processor, pulse the garlic, ginger, and onion until a thick paste forms.  Add the tomato and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil or ghee.  Add the chicken and saute until lightly browned on all sides.  Remove the chicken and set aside.  Add the tomato-onion mixture to the skillet and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the ground nuts and spices;  stir until well mixed.  

Return the chicken to the pan.  Pour in the coconut milk and season with salt to taste.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened.

Serve with a drizzle of fresh lemon or lime juice and sprinkled with cilantro.


The Review:
Curries with the slightly sweet flavor of coconut seem to be the biggest hits in our household.  The mild creamy flavors were well balanced and complimented the chicken instead of overpowering it.  I haven't tried many curried with ground nuts, and I loved they way the ground cashews thickened the sauce...added only the slightest nutty flavor.  The cashews have a creaminess all of their own.  I suspect almonds wouldn't have quite as distinct a flavor when paired with all of the other spices in the dish. .The easy and quickness in which this dish came together was a huge bonus as well.  As most of the ingredients are staple in our household, I'm sure we'll be enjoying this curry again!

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