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Friday, August 28, 2015

Improv Curry

My first experience with Indian Curry was years ago in London, England, when I was very young (like 20).  I vividly remember the chunks of tender chicken covered in a thick yellow/red sauce, that had so much wonderful flavor!  It was served with Naan, which is just like Pita Bread.  It was love at first bite!  Now, in my old age (32) ha!...(I know I'm not old, but I feel old thinking back on that time...although at church recently in my daughter's class, when they asked for prayer requests, she said "pray for Granny, she's really really old, she's 32"...yes she said that!), I have discovered that curries can be a delicious weeknight meal.  They are also not time-consuming to make when you do them in the crockpot.

I've done several great recipes from Pinterest.  My family enjoys these and I cook them frequently.  I'll share the links below.  However, none that I've tried have turned out quite like I remembered the one in London tasting.
So I made up my own (that's why I called it Improv, because it's improvised)...
These are the ingredients I used, plus chicken and salt and pepper.

Crockpot Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry 
2 lbs Chicken fillets
2-3 small sweet potatoes 
1/2 Red Onion
1 Shallot
2 cloves fresh Garlic
Zest and Juice of 1 Lime
1 can of Coconut Milk
1 cup Golden Raisins
1 heaping tablespoon Curry Powder
1 tablespoon Turmeric Powder
1 heaping tablespoon Tikka Masala Concentrated Curry Paste
1 teaspoon-ish Corn Starch (to thicken the liquid a bit)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Handful of fresh Cilantro
1. Grab the crockpot and plug it in (very important step)!  
2.  Wash and throw in the chicken.
3.  Peel and cut the potatoes into smallish pieces and throw them in too.
4. Finely chop the onion, shallot and garlic and add to the pot.
5.  Add the coconut milk and the next five ingredients.
6. Put the top on the pot and place the setting on Low.  Cook for 6-8 hours.
7. Add the corn starch about an hour before serving.
8.  Stir in the Cilantro just before serving.  
9. Serve over rice or with warm Pita Bread or Naan.

A very old picture of my husband and myself in London town.  Ah, youth...sigh.

London remains one of my absolute favorite places to travel.  There's just something about the vibe there that I can't quite get out of my heart.  Indian food is very popular in Britain.  No wonder I had my first taste of it there.
I've read parts of this book...

...and there's a whole chapter devoted to the history of Chicken Tikka Masala.  I could devote a whole chapter to Indian food as well, or at least a whole blog post! :)

The spicier curries are great topped with Tzatziki Sauce.  This cucumber sauce is not just for Greek food.  I've seen it called Raita when served with curry, but it's the same idea.  I've mentioned that I make it different every time, but here is a blog post that has a semi-recipe for it: Gyro Bar for Friends

So when you have a long busy week day ahead of you, and you know you won't have time or energy to cook a multi-step dinner for the family...try my improv curry.  And think of places far away for a moment as you take each savory, beautiful bite.  Happy weeknights, friends!

Other great Curry recipes I like to cook: (let me know if you have some for me to try!)

Crockpot Butter Chicken

Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala

Chickpea and Butternut Squash Curry