Tra­di­tional Chicken Curry

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FOOD - RECIPE COUR­TESY OF “THE IN­DIAN SLOW COOKER”

When most peo­ple think of In­dian food, the first dish that comes to mind is a good chicken curry. Be­cause I never ate this dish grow­ing up, I re­lied on my hus­band’s child­hood ver­sion for this recipe. He says the best chicken curry is made with a rich sauce and no veg­eta­bles. Though many recipes call for chopped cau­li­flower or car­rots, I’ve tried to re­main true to his tastes for this recipe.

Slow cooker size: 5-quart/ Cook­ing time: 8 hours on low/Yield: 6 to 8 serv­ings

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

3 pounds skin­less whole chicken, cut in about 8 pieces in­clud­ing the breast, legs, and wings (bone­less can also be used)

1 large or 2 medium yel­low or red onions, peeled and chopped into 8 pieces

2 medium toma­toes, quar­tered

1 (4-inch) piece gin­ger, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces 10 cloves gar­lic, peeled 1 ta­ble­spoon salt 1 ta­ble­spoon turmeric 1 ta­ble­spoon garam masala ¼ cup veg­etable or canola oil 1 cup plain yo­gurt 1 ta­ble­spoon red chili pow­der

1 cup dried me­thi leaves (fenu­greek leaves – avail­able at spe­cialty In­dian gro­cers, op­tional)

1 (2- to 4-inch) cin­na­mon stick 4 green car­damom pods 4 cloves 4 to 6 green Thai, ser­rano or cayenne chilies, stems re­moved, halved length­wise

½ cup boil­ing wa­ter (op­tional)

½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

IN­STRUC­TIONS

Put the chicken in the slow cooker. (If the meat was frozen, make sure it is thor­oughly de­frosted. Never use frozen foods in a slow cooker, be­cause it takes too long to raise the heat to an ap­pro­pri­ate level for safe, bac­te­ria-free cook­ing.)

In a food pro­ces­sor, grind the onion, tomato, gin­ger and gar­lic un­til smooth. This may take a few min­utes, so be pa­tient. You want the paste to be as smooth as pos­si­ble.

Trans­fer the paste to a bowl. Whisk in the salt, turmeric, garam masala, oil, yo­gurt, red chili pow­der and me­thi. Pour this mix­ture over the chicken. Add the cin­na­mon stick, car­damom pods, cloves and green chilies. Mix gently.

Cook on low for 8 hours. If you want more broth with your chicken add the wa­ter to­ward the end of the cook­ing time. Re­move the whole spices. Gar­nish with cilantro and serve over bed of bas­mati or brown rice or with roti or naan.

Try this! For you veg­e­tar­i­ans out there, sub­sti­tute sei­tan for the chicken and fol­low the same steps. Although sei­tan does not need to cook as long as the chicken would, stick to the cook­ing time given. The masala still needs to cook thor­oughly. If you are con­cerned that the sei­tan may get tough, add it in after 4 hours of cook­ing.

To make this dish in a 3½-quart slow cooker, halve all the in­gre­di­ents and pro­ceed with the recipe. A half recipe makes 3 to 5 serv­ings.

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