Like many of my recipes, this one was given to me by my mother, has been among my staples for years, and has been endlessly adapted until the original recipe is more of a suggestion than a specific direction.
So, I figured this year was the perfect time to write out what I actually do to make chicken curry versus what the recipe I use calls for.
I started adapting this one from the start out of necessity. I was poor and prefer chicken breasts, but the original calls for 3 pounds of chicken meat. Maybe I could have afforded that if I bought a whole chicken but as it was, I wanted to make a meal that lasted for days, and I was more likely to eat a boneless dinner.
So, I halved the amount of meat and then substituted in vegetables.
Now that I can afford 3 pounds of meat, it still seems excessive. So, I still make it with a mix of meat and vegetables. My list of vegetables changes but I like cauliflower and carrots with curry, even though they’re not usually my favorites. Peas and peppers rounded out the list this time, but anything works.
I also probably end up adding more than 1 ½ lbs. of vegetables because I don’t quite measure what goes in. I just eyeball it, including in the suggested amounts below.
Otherwise, I tweak a few other things from “The Curry Book” recipe my mom Xeroxed many years ago for me to enjoy.
Here’s what I did:
- 4 T. unsalted butter (or ghee, if you have on hand)
- 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
- 3 T. minced ginger
- 1 T. minced garlic
- 1 ½ lb. chicken breast, chopped into bite-size chunks
- 2 c. cauliflower, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 c. sugar snap peas (or just frozen peas)
- 3 T. curry powder
- ½ T. ground cumin
- 2 t. ground coriander
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ⅔ c. plain yogurt
- 2 T. lemon juice
- Scallions, optional for serving
- Cilantro, optional for serving
Heat the Dutch oven on the stove over medium heat, and add the butter. Add the onion, cauliflower, carrot, and bell pepper, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until just starting to soften. Add the chicken and cook until mostly cooked through. Add peas, ginger, and garlic and cook another minute.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the curry powder, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, yogurt, and lemon juice, and stir until well mixed. Scrape the yogurt mixture into the Dutch oven, and toss to combine.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook stirring occasionally, for about 30 to 35 minutes until chicken is cooked through and the flavor has combined. Serve on rice, with scallions or cilantro if desired, and enjoy!