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jjohn (22)

jjohn
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Perl hack/Linux buff/OSS junkie.

Journal of jjohn (22)

Sunday June 01, 2003
09:52 AM

Indian chicken curry

[ #12544 ]

When I waited tables at Pizzeria Uno, I became familiar with the horrible affliction that haunted my dreams as well as those of my cow-orkers. The dreams typically took the form of the dreamer at work, desperately trying to perform a perfectly routine aspect of hisr job, such as entering an order into the dread machines. In real life, register systems have become much more sophisticated and even less user-hateful (see PosiTouch). However, when I was a waiter, there was a separate key for just about every item on the menu. Items not bound to a key could be entered with a Price Look-Up (PLU) number, which was listed on a scrap of paper often near the register. Fumbling around in data entry land while your customers grow inpatient and numerous (as they do before a Red Sox game) is not an experience I would wish on many people, even for the benefit of building character. It's a situation like Lucy Ball on the chocolate factory assembly line but without the wacky hijinks. This real-life trauma translated into a bowel-loosening nightmare of the Service Economy Age (or Toffler's 'Super-Industrialism'). My brothers-in-aprons dubbed this phenomenon an unomare.

Despite not working at Uno's for almost 10 years, I was visited by an unomare last night. So, I've got that going for me.

Indian chicken curry is a dish into which I've only recently been clued. It's delightful and shares many of the same flavors as Mexican dishes. To my great surprise, chicken curry isn't all that hard to make. Last night, I made a particularly good batch of the stuff. So that I don't forget, I'm going to attempt to accurately write the recipe here so I can find it later.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of boneless chicken (papa likes the white meat, but YMMV)
  • tomato paste or sauce (8 oz can, but you don't need that much)
  • plain, unflavored yogurt (get the smallest cup you can get)
  • powered curry (I like it medium to hot)
  • chili relish
  • ginger root (requires a grating board)
  • garlic bulbs (requires a garlic press)
  • white onion
  • peppers (I used 1 green, 1 red and 1 yellow)
  • lemon juice (fresh lemon is better, but bottled juice works too)
  • cooking oil (or butter -- used for frying)
  • salt & pepper

Preparation:

  • rough chop 1 1/2 cup of onions into a bowl
  • press 3-6 garlic bulbs into the onions
  • in another bowl, cut chicken into 1" cubes
  • rough chop 1-2 cups of peppers into a third bowl
  • into a fourth bowl:
    • add 5 tbsp (tablespoons) of yogurt
    • 5 tbsp of tomato paste/sauce
    • 3 tbsp of chili relish
    • 5-7 tbsp of curry
    • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
    • 1-2 tbsp of grated ginger
    • pinch of salt and pepper

    The sauce should have the consistency of a think chowder or heinz ketchup. It shouldn't be too thick to pour, nor too watery. If the sauce is too thick, carefully add water to make it thinner.

  • mix the contents of the fourth bowl until the goop is homogenous

Cooking:

  • start cooking your basmati rice or whatever you intend to eat the chicken curry with (I start the rice before the preparation stage)
  • into a large frying pan set set over medium-high heat, add 1-2 tbsp of oil
  • dump the onions/garlic into pan and cook them until carmalized (golden brown)
  • add another tbsp of oil or water to pan
  • dump chicken into pan with the onions, etc
  • cover pan and cook for 3 minutes or until most of the chicken cubes are no longer pink
  • dump the peppers into the pan
  • cook covered for about 3 minutes
  • add the curry sauce.
  • cook covered for about 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked

Plate a healthy portion of rice topped with a similar helping of chicken curry. Since I haven't tackled making bread yet, I find Sahara Pita bread to be a fair replacement for nan bread. I believe chicken curry often has some kind of green pea in the sauce, but I'm more at home with peppers.

I hope this recipe helps you kick your dinners up ANOTHER NOTCH. BAM!

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