This "Not a Recipe" curry is easy to put together when you have some cooked chicken leftovers, and assorted vegetables in the refrigerator that need to be used. Most cooks have onions, garlic, and stock on hand, and your choice of nuts and dried fruit complete the dish. You can also omit extra vegetables and make this strictly chicken curry by making the onion, garlic, celery, apple and banana base. This recipe is loosely adapted from Jane Brody's Curried Chicken recipe. To bake chicken breasts, heat oven to 350, add olive oil, salt and pepper, mix, and bake for 30 minutes. —Bevi
4 to 6
small head cauliflower, broken into medium sized florets
medium eggplant, skin on, sliced lengthwise into 8 wedges
salt and pepper for roasting eggplant and cauliflower
oil - canola, vegetable, or olive oil
medium onion, chopped
cloves garlic, minced
stalks celery, sliced lengthwise and then chopped
curry powder (Penzey's or The Spice Hunter)
garam masala, for the sauce, plus extra to sprinkle on the eggplant and cauliflower
firm, tart apple or Asian pear, chopped
banana, chopped roughly
2 to 3 cups
cooked chicken, roughly chopped in bitesize pieces
dried black currants
dry roasted unsalted cashews, or other nutmeats
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the eggplant wedges and cauliflower florets in a metal half sheet pan. Sprinkle with 2 TBS olive oil, salt, pepper and a little sprinkling of garam masala. Thoroughly mix with your clean hands. Place the vegetables in the lower third of the oven. After 15 minutes, turn the vegetables, After another 15 minutes, remove the eggplant, which should be tender yet firm and not falling apart. Keep the cauliflower in the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes, until browned, Remove from oven.
In the meantime, heat the other 2 TBS. of oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and saute for about 8 minutes, but do not brown. Add the curry powder and the 1/4 TSP. of garam masala. Mix the spices into the onion mixture, and cook on medium low heat for a few minutes. Add the bay leaf, the apple, and the banana. Continue to stir until the spices cover all the contents of the pan. Add the tomato paste and chicken stock and mix well. Bring to a boil, then turn the flame down to simmer. Cover and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Remove from heat.
Ladle a little less than half of the curry mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until pureed. Return the puree to the sauce pan with the unblended mixture, and mix the sauce so it is well incorporated. (Note: if you want a thinner finished sauce, use about one-third of the mixture for the blender.)
Chop the cooled eggplant into 2" chunks. Add the eggplant, the roasted cauliflower, the cooked chicken, and the currants to the curry sauce. Cover and cook over medium heat until the mixture is simmering lightly. Add the cashews and give a final stir, making sure all ingredients are well incorporated into the sauce.
Serve over brown, basmati, or jasmine rice. This is delicious with a nice raita and some chutney.
NB: The chicken may be omitted and you can use vegetable stock if you would like to make this curry vegetarian. Other vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes can be given the roasting treatment and added to the curry mixture as noted above.