I started out with the intention of making something Asian-y for dinner- a Chinese stir-fry type of thing. This is because the chicken we had was pre-cut in to strips, ideal for a quick cook. Looking around the house, I realized that a. I need garlic and b. this cilantro we planted is getting out of control. And c. warming up naan is way quicker than making rice.
So I detoured south and went for Indian cuisine. Using the cookbook, 5 spices 50 dishes, a gift for Chris*, I decided to make the chicken curry because I had all the correct spices. The other reason I was drifting from more Chinese-Asian was a lack of ginger- a key ingredient in most Chinese/Korean/Vietnamese dishes.
I did have to make a couple of changes based on what I had and a desire to add more veggies.
What I used- (followed by as in the book where necessary)1 onion, 1/2 finely chopped, 1/2 sliced thin (2 onions, finely chopped)
14 oz can crushed tomatoes, no salt added (3 fresh tomatoes, chopped = 2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly (not in book version)
1 package chicken breasts, strips style (3 lbs chicken parts, bone-in)
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, finely ground
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup chicken broth (1 cup water)
1 tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
What I did
Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt. Cook onions until they begin to brown (or completely brown if time permits).
Combine cayenne, turmeric and cumin with 1 tablespoon of water to create a paste. Stir paste in to onions, mix to combine and cook 3-5 minutes. Add tomato and stir constantly so mixture doesn’t scorch.
Add chicken and bell pepper; mix to combine. Cook about 10 minutes then add water plus salt. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a high simmer. Cook uncovered until chicken is completely cooked through, up to 30 minutes (boneless chicken strips only took about 15 minutes). Add vinegar and sugar, adjust seasonings.
Served with garlic naan and plenty o’ cilantro.
This was good, spicy with just a little sour from the vinegar. However, it was not thick so perhaps not suited to naan dipping. I didn’t have anything handy to thicken it up (i.e. sour cream or cream or yogurt) so we made do. I still like chicken tikka masala better but with no marinating, this was way quicker.
*So, this was meant to be a gift for Chris so he could make some Indian food. How many dishes has he made so far?
EDIT: add bell pepper with chicken or partly through onion sauteing, whatever floats your boat.