Curry Up!

by Marjan

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


When it comes to selecting recipes or making menu choices, I tend to gravitate towards aromatic meals seasoned with herbs and spices. Personally, the key for me is balance. Certain recipes overwhelm my palate with ladened use of spices which permeate out of my skin for days to follow!


Therefore, I'm pleased to share with you my recipe for Curry Stew: balanced blend of spices, slightly tangy yet creamy and utterly fragrant to awaken your taste buds. Helping to facilitate blood flow along with providing comfort and warmth, let’s not forget all the intricate medicinal benefits of cooking with spices.
This recipe has won over the hearts of those who don't even like curry! Therefore, I 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 cloves garlic; minced
1 tablespoon ginger; peeled and minced
2 bay leaves
2 star anise
1 cup (or one can) coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 organic tomatoes; chopped into small pieces
1 jalapeno; seeded and minced
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 20 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon salt, lemon juice, tomatoes and jalapenos; cook for additional 5 minutes.

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

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