I am a sucker for curries so I searched Aarti’s blog for the word ‘curry’ and found this fairly simple recipe. As it turns out, Aarti is scared of making curries! Mainly because it’s so easy to burn the spices, which is quite easy to do if you cook them any longer than 30 seconds. I foolishly decided to give this 5 garlic clove containing curry a try right before going to a Halloween party….that involved drinking beer. Now everyone knows what happens when you drink beer – you get the burps. Having the burps after eating a garlicy curry will create a room-clearing smell. Thank god my boyfriend and I were in costume.
Room-clearing breath aside, this curry was a delicious tomato based curry that I would highly recommend for a NIGHT IN.
1.5lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (breasts will dry out)
1 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 bay leaves
5 cloves garlic
4 chiles de arbol
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp honey
14.5 oz can whole tomatoes
1 tbsp white poppy seeds (you can find ‘em at the Indian shoppe), blended in 1/4 cup milk
(OR, bypass the poppy seeds & milk, use 2 tbsp yogurt)
1) Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large deep pot over medium heat. Add onions and bay leaves. Saute until pinkish-golden brown. (Aaarti’s technique is to tamp them down in the center of your pot, allow them to cook for 30 seconds or so until they get a nice crust, then re-stir and repeat). Don’t undercook your onions, else you will have a weak curry!
2) Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, whiz together garlic, chiles, ginger, turmeric and paprika with a little water until as smooth as possible.
3) Once onions are cooked, add the masala from the blender. Cook, stirring often until deepened in colour, and oil droplets appear on the surface of the masala.
4) Add honey and chicken, coating the meat with the masala. Cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes until masala sticks to the chicken.
5) Pull tomatoes out of the can and squish into the pot, crushing them with your hands. You should have about 4 or 5 tomatoes in that can. Add a splash of tomato juice too. Stir, bring to a simmer, semi-cover and cook about 20 minutes until chicken is tender and gravy has thickened. Turn heat down, add either poppy seed-milk mixture or yogurt and stir gently. Taste for seasonings. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve over rice.