February 9, 2013

Curry Up!

by Marjan

The spice of life: for me, it is eating! What’s yours?


When it comes to selecting recipes to cook from or which dish to order from a restaurant, I tend to gravitate towards meals using coriander, cumin, or other exotic spices. However, my palate shies away from overwhelming blends of spices used in most curry recipes. Therefore, I wanted to share with you my recipe for Curry Stew: tangy, satisfying, and lavished with blends of spices to awaken your taste buds. During cold winter days, nothing warms my soul from the inside out more than meals incorporating spices from the east which help facilitate blood flow and a sense of comfort and warmth. Of course, let’s not forget all the intricate medicinal benefits of cooking with spices.
Hope my favorite recipe for Curry Stew will soon become one of your favorites!


Ingredients (serves 6)

1 lb. skinned, deboned, chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces (can substitute with tofu)
3 teaspoon each coriander and cumin seeds
1 tablespoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 large onion-chopped into small cubes
4 organic tomatoes-chopped into cubes
4 cloves garlic-minced
1 tablespoon ginger-peeled and minced
1 jalapeno-seeded and minced
2 bay leaves
2 star anise
1 cup (or one can) coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup unsalted roasted cashews-coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper
1/2 stick butter
Cooked basmati rice

In a flat pan, toast coriander and cumin seeds for five minutes over low heat; stirring frequently to render uniform toasting. Remove from stove top to cool. In a coffee or spice grinder, mill seeds until well ground up. In a large bowl with a lid, blend ground seeds, ½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper, turmeric, cayenne, and ¼ cup of canola oil. Add chicken pieces and mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In a large size pan, over medium heat melt butter; add onions and sauté for 6-8 minutes until softened. Add garlic, ginger, bay leaves, and star anise for another 5 minutes stirring regularly. Carefully, add chicken pieces and scrape all spices from the bowl into the pan. Sauté chicken until opaque (10 minutes). Add coconut milk and bring mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for ten more minutes. Add ½ teaspoon salt, lemon juice, tomatoes and jalapenos and cook for another ten minutes.

Transfer stew to a warm serving bowl; garnish with cashew and cilantro and serve with basmati rice.

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