Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My First Attempt at Homemade Curry

I'm awful at remembering to defrost meat for dinner. We usually have a bit of meat at each meal, and I stock up when it's on sale, so we usually have quite a bit in the freezer. Remembering to take out some the night before is one of my biggest problems with cooking. Tonight was one of those nights. I was so focused on wanting to keep the chicken eggs safe and remembering to bring them to school, that I plum forgot to defrost something!

At first I thought of making a tuna noodle casserole, but then I remembered we had some Tandoori curry paste and Garam Masala powder. Lee loves curry, so I thought it would be a good way to help with the taste of chicken nuked in the microwave. I also wanted to use up some of the frozen peas and corn I had, and curry seems to be great for using up odd bits and pieces of things.

I spent some time searching around online for curry recipes. I've never made a curry from scratch before, and haven't had it, or paid attention to the ingredients enough, to know what goes in it or how much of the ingredients to put in. I had a couple of recipes I looked through online, but they all included ingredients I don't have. One person told me that curry is one of those things that you can play around with and really adapt to your tastes, that it may never turn out the same way twice (kind of like how I make my spaghetti sauce). I decided to take some of the ingredients I was consistently seeing in curry recipes and make my own. Of course, I recruited my resident curry enthusiast to help me out with the tasting since he loves curry and I'm not the biggest fan of curry.

I almost forgot to fix the rice! I had just added the peas and corn to the curry, which was almost done, and remembered about the rice. It was ok, the peas and corn needed to cook in the sauce for a few minutes and it would be fine to let the curry sit for a bit longer if needed.

When the curry was almost done, it didn't taste quite as spicy as Lee would have liked. I tried it and figured I could handle it a bit hotter, so added some powdered cayenne pepper. I added ½ teaspoon, but it was a bit much. It was pretty hot after that. Lee liked it, but it was too much for me. The final touch of cayenne pepper for extra heat is definitely one of those things for you to play around with for your own tastes.

Lee said he thought it was good, and to me it tastes about like other tomato-based curries I've tried, so I'll post the recipe.

My First Curry

1 medium white onion, diced
4 medium cloves of garlic, minced
1 chicken breast, cubed
1 10oz. can Rotel
1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp garam masala
½ tsp ground ginger
cayenne pepper (as desired for extra heat)

  1. In a large skillet or a dutch oven, lightly coat with oil.
  2. Over medium heat, add onion. Cook about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic cloves and chicken. Sauté until chicken is almost cooked through.
  4. Add Rotel , stir, and cook for a few minutes more.
  5. Add crushed tomatoes, garam masala, and ginger.
  6. Allow to heat for several minutes for garam masala and ginger to flavor the tomatoes.
  7. Add any vegetables.
  8. After about 5-10 minutes, test for flavor. If you want more heat, add cayenne pepper a little at a time until it tastes how you want it.
  9. The sauce may be runny, if so, you may add a bit of cornstarch to thicken.


Made by Lena