I'd previously admired her and Sally Swift's cookbook The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper at my sister-in-law's house, but the moment after I was contacted by the show, I dropped this in my online shopping cart and pressed BUY. It was time to stop, in culinary-speak, waffling and time to learn how to eat supper.
I was drawn to many of the photographed recipes, but this cozy, mellow curry sounded perfect for the fall weather L.A. was experiencing a few days ago, right before our temperatures skyrocketed.
The Splendid Table's version:
Also essential to the curry are Steps 2 and 3 in the recipe: sauté the curry paste until the sauce 'breaks' (the oil separates out from the rest of the sauce) and reducing the first addition of yogurt. Please follow the instructions to the letter; in these two steps lies the success of the curry."
And if this is the first time you're making a curry like this, which it was for me, might I recommend that you do it with someone in a nearby room to whom you can continue to ask, "Do you think the sauce has broken?" "Do you really? I'm not sure if it has." But in retrospect, it's pretty obvious when the sauce breaks. It gets all splotchy and well, broken.
But honestly, thick or thin sauce, we both loved this meal. Twice.
Which brings us to thanking the Splendid Table crew, twice. Once for recognizing my little blog and then again for the curry.
And so for those of you who aren't my facebook friend or following me on Twitter, here's the interview. Enjoy!
Recipe via How to Eat Supper:
1 large onion, cut in half
6 large garlic cloves
One 3-inch piece fresh peeled ginger
generous 1/2 tablespoon blend of ground coriander, ground cumin, and fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 ground cinnamon
2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes; or 3 or 4 canned tomatoes
1 or 2 jalapenos, stemmed and seeded (or not, if you like it hot) *I used two not seeded and it was fantaaaasticly spicy**
1/2 cup water
cold-pressed vegetable oil
2 cups organic plain whole-milk yogurt
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (organic if possible), ct into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup water
salt and fresh-ground black pepper
2 tight-packed tablespoons fresh corander leaves, chopped
1. In a food processor, combine one of the onion halves with the garlic, ginger, spice blend, salt, cinnamon, tomatoes, jalapeno, and the 1/2 cup water. Puree, and set aside.
2. Thin-slice the remaining onion half. Film the bottom of a straight-sided 12-inch sauté pan with the oil, and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion, and sauté until it begins to color. Add the curry paste, reduce the heat to medium, and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spatula, until the oil separates from the curry. Don't rush this step. Thoroughly sautéing the curry paste sets up the foundation of the dish.
3. Blend 2/3 cup of the yogurt into the curry sauce and simmer, stirring and scraping up the curry paste from the bottom of the pan, until the yogurt thickens and then nearly cooks away, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Stir in the chicken, and add the remaining yogurt and the 1/3 cup water. Bring the mixture to a slow simmer. Cook, uncovered for 8 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
5. Lift the chicken out of the pan with a slotted spoon, and place it in a serving bowl. Raise the heat until the sauce is boiling. Boil it down until once again it is so thick that the oil separates from the curry paste. Taste the sauce for seasoning, and pour it over the chicken. Sprinkle the curry with the fresh coriander.