CASHEW CURRIED CHICKEN
Like any other ethnic dish, curry needs authentic ingredients. North American grocery stores do not carry the spices for good curry. With a few exceptions, the spices should come from an Indian speciality store or spice outlet. Buying premixed garam masala is much like buying several days’ old bread. As for the curry powder, it cannot come from a small bottle or a tin. The heat of curry can vary, add hot chilli or not. Add a little or a lot, it’s up to you.
I learned to make Indian curry for the sake of a catholic priest who came here from India. Between my curry and Jim’s sour cherry wine, Fr Tom used to be a frequent visitor. Then when he was transferred out of town to a small parish with no cook or housekeeper, Jim and I went to see him and I thought him how to cook curry. A Hungarian born Canadian woman teaching an Indian priest how to cook curry... admittedly it was kind of funny. The sour cherry tree is gone now and so is Fr Tom. He went back to India. He would have a houseboy cooking his curry and pouring his drinks. Last Sunday we had good friends over; we ate curry, drank Jim’s grape wine and remembered Fr Tom.
1/3 cup ghee
2 large onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 Tbsp Madras curry powder
3 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
1 Tbsp Hungarian paprika*
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp Garam Masala, freshly roasted and ground
1/4 cup cashews, ground [but not too finely]
• Cut up chicken into small pieces, removing all the skin and the fat.
• Place the ghee in a fry pan.
• Slowly fry the onion, garlic, and ginger in the ghee, until soft and golden.
• Stir in the curry powder and the Hungarian paprika.
• Add the salt and tomatoes and slowly cook to pulp.
• Add the chicken 2-3 pieces at the time and turn to coat with the spice mixture.
• Transfer chicken pieces to a large roasting pan
• Top with the remaining spice mixture and add 1 cup of water to the pan.
• Cover the roasting pan and place in a preheated 320F oven.
• Bake until the meat is tender.
• Stir in the garam masala and bake uncovered for 5 minutes.
• Stir in the ground cashews.
• Serve with Basmati rice.
*You can use chilli powder, but Hungarian paprika gives better color and milder flavour to curry.
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