Ever since I did my master’s degree with a Taiwanese adviser, I have been what I call ‘curry curious’. She would occasionally bring homemade Thai food for the lab, and it was always divine. I love ethnic food because they use so many spices which are usually not found in the typical American palate.
But contrary to popular belief, being spice-ed doesn’t have to mean spice-y (as in too spicy to eat, mouth on fire, tears running down your face). Wikipedia actually has quite an extensive list of curries from various cultures, the cooking methods, ingredients, and spice mixtures if you’re interested.
I think the most interesting tidbit is that the “curry powder” spice mixture, popular in the West, dates to the 18th century and is thought to have been prepared by Indian spice merchants to sell to the members of the British government and soldiers.
I have attempted Green Curry Chicken, and it turned out amazing. I began experimenting with different cuisines and techniques, like the Crock Pot Indian Chicken Curry and then more Thai with pineapple Peanut Chicken Curry. Clearly I need to try something other than chicken in my curries… anyhow.
All have been unique and delicious. I love the punch of spices, and the ease of a crock pot lends itself to long, slow cooking these curries taste best with. I definitely will keep curries as part of my regular meals.
Especially because they are so easily customizable. Whatever meat is around, literally any vegetable, and some standard sauces (yogurt, coconut milk, stock, and/or tomato base) plus the combination of spices and I have a thick, complex stew to serve over rice or noodles.
Also, thought it seems like quite an investment, the spices are worth it. You don’t need to use much, so they will last a long time. Without further ado, enjoy my latest curry creation.
- ~6 pounds chicken (I used 2 thigh, 2 breast, and 2 drumsticks)
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 can diced tomatoes with chilis
- 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1/2 yellow squash, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup peas and carrots
- 2 tbsp garam masala (Indian spice mixture)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
Step 1: Spray a crock pot. Add the coconut milk and diced tomatoes. Then add the chicken and all your diced vegetables.
Step 2: Douse it all in the spices you’re using. Give it a stir.
Step 3: Cook on low 4-6 hours, mixing a few times if possible.
Serve over rice, noodles, or bread. Enjoy!
Do you have a favorite ethnic recipe?