Chicken Curry with Basmati Rice

Goa is a coastal city in southern India where the food is abundant with fish, spices, coconut, and curry leaves.  I was there with my Italian friend, Diane Seed when we were taught in a restaurant how to make this curry.  We made it with fish, which is delicious, but I prefer it with chicken.  If you can’t get fresh curry leaves, you can certainly leave them out, but I recommend toasting and grinding your own spices for the most aromatic curry flavor.

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Main ingredients:
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (12 oz.), cut into 1” cubes
juice of 3 limes
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. tumeric powder

Curry paste:
pinch of red chile flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted cumin seeds
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
12 fresh curry leaves (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh coconut (unsweetened frozen)

For Saute’:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped (or 1 can chopped tomatoes,             drained)
1 green chile, minced
1 can coconut milk
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro 

Method:
Marinade the chicken pieces in the lime juice, tumeric and salt for up to one hour.  

Make a paste of the curry paste mixture in a food processor.  Heat a large skillet and heat oil.  Saute onion, add tomatoes and green chile.  Add chicken (with any marinade) and cook until nearly done.  Add curry paste and cook for about 8 minutes.  Add coconut milk and simmer until thick and bubbly.  You may need to add water, if curry is too thick.

Basmati Rice:
2 cups basmati rice
6 cups water
2 teaspoons salt

Method:
In a saucepan, add all ingredients and bring to a boil.  As soon as it comes to a boil, reduce heat to lowest flame.  Place lid on pan with a slight opening to allow steam to escape.  Set timer for 12 minutes.  After 12 minutes, turn off heat and place lid on pan to seal.  Leave for 15 minutes or until service time.  Note: do not stir rice until after the final 15 minutes of steaming.

 

MainsIzza Wei-Haas