I realize that I’m a little (2 1/2 weeks…) behind on food posts. We do keep eating chicken. I just keep not writing about it. So here’s the post from the week before last: spicy, savory and satisfying Sri Lankan Curry. The original (non-Bishkek-friendly) recipe was found here: http://www.happyandharried.com/2015/07/24/sri-lankan-chicken-curry/
To marinate the chicken:
- 2 lbs Chicken –the original called for bone-in pieces; I used chicken breast. Obviously bone-in creates more fat and flavor.
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- 1 tsp Red chili powder
- 1 tsp Madras curry powder (see curry recipe below)
- 1 tsp Black pepper
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Korean hot pepper paste
- 1 tsp Salt
For the curry,
- 2 Tbsp Oil
- 1 Onion, finely chopped
- 1″ Ginger, chopped
- 3-4 Cloves Garlic, crushed and chopped
- 1 Tbsp Spicy Curry Powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon ground with 5-6 cloves and 3-4 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp Red chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Madras curry powder
- 1 Tomato, chopped
- 1/2 c chicken stock
- 1 julienned carrot
- 1/3 head chopped cauliflower
- Yogurt (to cut down on the spice, as the original recipe called for coconut milk and we didn’t have any)
- Cilantro leaves – to garnish (optional)
Madras Curry Powder:
- Grind together coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, fennel, cumin, dried red chilies and curry
- Chop the chicken into 2″ pieces, marinate, and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat the oil . Add onions, ginger, and garlic. Saute until the onions start to brown.
- Add spices in “curry” to the onions, Stir and saute for a minute.
- Add the carrots, as they will take more time to cook than the chicken and cauliflower.
- After 5 minutes add the marinated chicken pieces and toss around for 5 minutes without covering or adding water.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, stir and cover to simmer.
- After 10 minutes add the chopped cauliflower and 1/2 c chicken stock.
- Cook for at least 10 more minutes, or until vegetables and chicken are tender. The flavors will develop if you let the dish sit for a while before serving.
Alterations: Sadly (sadly indeed!) we do not have tamarind in Bishkek. In place of tamarind, I used spicy-sweet Korean pepper paste which (due to Stalinist policies and current fashion/food trends) is readily available in Bishkek. Obviously it’s a bit spicier than tamarind and is missing that sour tang, but it still worked well. To compliment the spicy paste I added about a teaspoon of vinegar and squirted lemon on the finished dish.
Vegetables were not part of the original recipe. I added cauliflower to the mix, and could have added julienned carrots as well, as I generally like more vegetables with my meals.
Score: 9/10 only because I was missing the tamarind. This was the perfect spicy dish for a cold and rainy evening.
While we do have plenty of Indian and Pakistani students in Bishkek, there aren’t very many restaurants representing that corner of the world – bot surprising (where do all those students eat?) and (having grown up half on Indian-Tibetan infusions) quite disappointing.