Da Tomato Curry
So, this is more or less making a stand-alone version of the curry from the Curry-Stuffed Toast I posted recently, because I liked it so much. (If you missed that, it was a savory French-style toast with curry and home-made cheese in the middle. Yum).
Tomato-based curries are really approachable, in that they're full of flavor, and really versatile. They can also be really nom without getting fussy like some curries.
So, to that end, this one's really, really simple, and doesn't involve finely balancing a bunch of spices. Besides, Madras curry powder replaces a lot of them anyway 🙂
This is one of those recipes where lots of stuff happens in a short period of time, so it's a good idea to do your mise en place, which is a fancy way of saying "get everything ready before you cook". I'm also going to break things out a bit so this can be made vegetarian or not, depending on preference. At some date later I'll explore being able to support both with one recipe – which will essentially mean cooking the chicken separately – but that's going to require some experimentation.
So, mise en place. This can all be done whenever you feel like it Recipe serves 6-8:
- In a large-ish bowl, gish up a 28-35-oz can of whole tomatoes. Usually I'd say puree or diced is okay, but it really, realy affects the texture in a significant way this time.
- Dice (small-ish) two medium to large onions.
- Dice up some peppers. I used two Anaheims for reference, but green peppers, or something that suits your preferred heat level. You'll want about half a cup. Since one of my kids has a problem with spicy, I also removed the ribs from the peppers.
- A carrot or two
- A stalk or two celery
- roughly 3tbsp minced garlic, though the pre-minced stuff is okay.
- [optional] Cube (on the small side) one to 1-1/2 pounds of chicken. Thighs would be best, but whatever you have on hand will work. Dark meats just have a fuller flavor. You can also leave the chicken whole for smaller groups if you like, as I did in the photo above.
Once you're ready to go (actual cooking time is about 40 minutes):
Heat up a couple of tablespoons of oil – vegetable, canola, etc in a large skillet. Add in your onions, veg, about three tablespoons of minced garlic, and about 1.5 tablespoons of pepper. Let that sweat for five minutes or so, moving the veg around consistantly until the onions just start to soften.
Add in three tablespoons of tomato paste and 2-1/2 tablespoons of curry powder (I highly recommend Sun Brand) and heat that through. It'll be sticky as heck but you'll want to thicken everything up, without really cooking the paste. You can also add a bit of cayenne for some heat.
Then, add in your chicken. It'll really be a thick mess at this point, but it's worth it. Cook that all for about five minutes, stirring regularly.
Now, add in your gished tomatoes, along with a heavy 1/2tsp coriander and 1/2 tsp cumin. These go a long way, so don't get too crazy. It's also a good time to adjust your curry powder and pepper to taste.
Right about now is a good time to start some rice. Roughly 3/4 cup per person, though with whole chicken you can get away with a bit less.
Let the curry simmer for 20 minutes, or if you've added chicken, until the chicken is cooked though (this is important!) and then reduce the heat until it's just kept warm. Now you've made a pretty darn tasty tomato-chicken curry, and you'll quite possibly have leftovers for tomorrow
- Peppers (green, Anaheim, etc)
- Madras curry powder (I recommend Sun Brand Madras Curry Powder )
- Whole tomatoes (I use Cento Imported Italian Tomatoes )
- Small tin of tomato paste
- Optional: 1 to 1-1/2 pounds chicken, cubed or whole
*Nutritional analysis based on six people, with chicken
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