Category: Curry

November 3, 2010

Vietnamese Chicken Curry

i continue my hunt to find good recipes to use up my sweet potatoes. i found this one on A Little Bit Burnt – i think my husband may like it. curry and coconut milk = delicious!

* 1 x 2-1/2 – 3 lb. chicken, cut up or you can buy pre-cut pieces at the store. Or if you prefer, use all breasts or thighs depending on your preference. You can also include a few sliced up boneless breasts or thighs to add towards the end if you want to increase the protein and have some boneless bites for everyone. (For a vegetarian version, use 1 or 2 tubs of firm tofu – see notes below)
* 7-8 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into about 2″ lengths
* 6 small russet potatoes, peeled and cut into about 2″ large pieces, with larger pieces cut in half
* 4 medium orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into similar 2″ large pieces
* 1 large onion, cut into wedges
* 3-4″piece of ginger, bruised with the back of your knife
* 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 2 shallots, thinly sliced
* 1 x 32 oz. carton, or 4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth, or homemade (For a vegetarian version, you can use veggie stock or just water – you may then end up increasing your salt a little bit)
* 2 cups Lactaid milk, fat free and calcium-enriched, or milk of your preference
* 1 x 13.5 oz. can coconut milk
* 2 – 3 Tbsp. Vietnamese curry powder
* 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
* 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, more to salt and pepper the chicken pieces
* 1 – 2 tsp. sugar
* Cooked rice noodles or baguette or french bread for serving

Beginning prep:

1. Break down your chicken into 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks and 2 wings, and then break everything down a little further. Cut each breast through the bone into thirds, each thigh in half, each drumstick in half, and then divide each wing at the joints. This is best done with with a big cleaver, but if you don’t have one, it’s probably best to leave the drumsticks and thighs whole as the bones are bigger and thicker. If you are adding a few additional boneless thighs or breasts, slice them into bite-sized pieces and set aside until later in the cooking process. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.

2. Prep all your vegetables as described above in the ingredient list.

Making the curry:

3. In a large pot or dutch oven, drizzle a little canola or vegetable oil and heat over medium high heat. Add sliced shallots and garlic and saute for a minute or so until fragrant. Add 2 Tbsp. curry powder and saute for about 30 seconds.

4. Push everything to the side and add the chicken pieces and brown for a few minutes on each side in two batches. Set the chicken aside for now.

5. Add the sliced onions to the pot and saute for a minute, and then add the chicken broth, add the chicken pieces back to the pot, the piece of bruised ginger, the coconut milk and let it all come to a gentle boil.

6. Add fish sauce and 1 Tbsp. salt, the potatoes, carrots and coconut milk and turn the heat down to medium and bring everything to a simmer. Let everything simmer for about 10 minutes.

7. Taste the curry and if you want a stronger curry flavor, add a little more, up to another tablespoon. Add 1 tsp. of the sugar for now. Don’t worry if it tastes a little spicy yet as you’ll add a little milk at the end still. Add the sweet potatoes and let everything simmer for another 10 minutes.

8. Turn the heat down to low to a very gentle, low simmer, and add the milk and stir well. Let everything simmer on low heat for another couple of minutes or so. If you like, add another teaspoon sugar or more fish sauce to balance the flavors to your liking. The chicken should be fall-apart tender, and the vegetables should be soft and tender, though should hopefully still be retaining their shape.

Serve with Vietnamese french bread, a piece of baguette or french bread, or over rice noodles. When serving, make sure each diner has a little bit of everything, or let everyone serve themselves. As with most soups, stews and curries, this tastes even better the next day. Reheat gently over medium to medium low heat.

For a vegetarian version:

If you want to make this vegetarian, you can add cubes of pan-fried tofu. Remove the tofu from the package and let it sit in a colander for a while and drain. Dry it off as much as possible with paper towels. Slice into smaller pieces – thirds or quarters depending on the size of your tofu. Heat about an inch of oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat or even a pot to reduce oil splatter. Once it’s hot (try the chopstick method – put the tip of a chopstick into the oil and if bubbles gather around it, it’s ready), add the slices of tofu and brown on all sides and set aside over a rack to drain off any excess oil. Then slice into large cubes. If you have an Asian grocery store in your area, you can probably find pre-fried tofu, which is great because it makes things a little easier.

Follow steps 1 through 3, omit step 4, and pick up with step 5 again. Replace chicken broth with veggie stock or just water, and omit fish sauce. You may end up increasing the curry powder or salt a little to make up for the fish sauce. Add the tofu cubes with the sweet potatoes in step 7.

Categories: Curry, soup
October 21, 2010

Spicy Shrimp Curry

i was looking for a fairly simple shrimp curry recipe to make this weekend and the photo above sold me on this one! i love that they garnished with cilantro-the flavor must be really delicious with the heat of the curry. i will probably be doubling (or tripling) the amount of red chiles. my husband and i like things super spicy -to the point of tears!

Ingredients for the spice paste:
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1-2 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp garlic paste
2-3 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander (optional)

Ingredients for the curry:
2 tbsp canola oil
2-4 whole dried red chiles
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
10 curry leaves
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped (or you can use canned, crushed tomatoes)
1/4 cup coconut milk

1 lb shrimp, shelled, deveined
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp butter

Chopped cilantro for garnish

1. Mix all ingredients for the spice paste and set aside in a bowl.

2. Heat up the oil on medium-high, and drop in the dried chiles. Let them get dark, but not burnt, which should take about 1 min.

3. Add the onion and saute till golden-brown. Sprinkle in the sugar, then add the spice paste. Cook everything for another min.

4. Add the curry leaves and the tomatoes, and cook until the tomatoes lose some of their moisture. Then add the coconut milk and let it all simmer for 4-5 mins.

5. In the meantime, melt the butter in a separate frying pan on medium-high heat, and cook the shrimp (which have been sprinkled with salt n pepper) till golden and firm (just 2-3 mins).
6. Then transfer the cooked shrimp into the curry, giving it a good stir to meld all the flavors. Add a sprinkle of salt to the curry if you think it needs it. Turn off the heat, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with fluffy basmati rice or bread/roti.

recipe and photo by An Edible Symphony

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Categories: Curry, shrimp, Thai
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