Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A lesson in Curry

My friend T is from India. Well, that's a misnomer. One of my greatest pleasures in life is when someone asks T where she's from and she replies "Canada." Which is true.

T's mother, who was born in India and emigrated to Canada before T was born, makes fantastic Indian food. Which makes T the go-to expert on Indian food. Not that she often shares this expertise. It most often comes out in reference to one particular Indian specialty. Mention that your favorite Indian dish is curry and a look of complete and utter disdain crosses T's face (and she is an expert at this face....she also uses it when you mention you purchased your shirt from Marshalls/TJ Max/Target). She begins her curry diatribe.

See "curry" isn't an Indian dish. Rather it refers to a whole host of entrees. Curry is the Indian equivalent of gulash, or stew. Curry refers to any mix of spices and meats that are prepared together. Curry does not even need to contain curry powder!

This curry is a mix of spices, chicken, and coconut milk - and not a dash of curry powder to be found anywhere. It is a classic curry because of its preparation/consistency. It is also a delicious curry - of course I am partial to coconut. T would be proud.

Coconut Chicken Curry
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 chicken breasts cut into 2"cubes
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 Tbsp crushed ginger
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

1) Heat canola oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken cubes and cook 2-3 minutes, or until partially cooked. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
2) Add onion, ginger, and garlic to pan. Cook until onion is lightly browned. Add cayenne, tomato, and coconut milk.
3) Return chicken to skillet. Reduce heat and simmer covered until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
4) Stir in cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with basmati rice.


  1. Yeah, you will probably get the same look of disdain when you mention fried rice in front of Mr. KP.