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Author Notes: I received a gift of spices, including yellow curry powder. What to do with it? I looked in my Madhur Jaffrey cookbook and she basically scoffs at recipes calling for curry powder because, as you may know, it is not strictly authentic. I found a shrimp curry recipe in the NYT by Suvir Saran calling for yellow Indian curry powder and decided to try it. The resulting dish is quite good: think slightly exotic comfort food. I can't find wild Gulf shrimp anymore, so here is my adaptation using chicken and vegetables. I've also made it vegetarian, with cauliflower, potatoes and carrots. Either way, the dish is fragrant, warming, colorful and has lots of pleasing layers of flavor and texture. Start a pot of rice (basmati is the best!) before anything else. It may not be authentic but who cares if it tastes so good? —halfasiangirl
Serves at least 6 generous servings
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 15-20 tiny yellow Dutch potatoes (or about 3/4 to 1 lb potatoes of your choice, cut into bite-sized piece)
- 3 large carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 cup canola/grapeseed oil
- 4 dried red chiles (I found mine in an Indian grocery, but I have also used dried arbol chiles)
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 cups canned chopped tomatoes, with juice
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Place cut chicken in a small bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. Mix well and set in the refrigerator until later.
- Place a pot of water on the stove to boil over medium-high heat. One vegetable at a time, parboil or steam the vegetables until just tender. You want to make sure the vegetables are cooked through, but not mushy. You can use the same pot for all the vegetables: as the potatoes finish cooking, use a slotted spoon to remove the potatoes to a separate bowl. Repeat for the carrots and then the green beans.
- In an enameled cast iron pot or similar vessel over medium heat, combine oil and chilies and stir 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and cook for 1 minute longer. Add ginger, onion, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt and sauté until onion is soft and translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, ground coriander and turmeric and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add tomatoes. Stir, scraping sides and bottom of pot, for 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Stir in curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Add coconut milk, bring to a boil, and add chicken. Simmer steadily until chicken is cooked through completely. Add all vegetables. Garnish with cilantro.
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