Sunday, May 27, 2012

Rich Vegetable Curry with Chicken

Curry is one of the great "catch all" dishes of the world. Just like stew, stir fry, and the ubiquitous casserole, it's more or less simple to throw anything you find in your fridge into a flavourful sauce and have it come out tasty (and if nothing else, edible). Getting the spicing right for things like a good curry is critical, but once you get that down, anything goes. Curry can be dry, or super-saucy, red, yellow, or green, 100% vegan or packed with any and all meat or seafood under the sun. It can have nut or dairy butter, coconut, or cream... or none of the above. The "heat" of the resulting mixture is totally up to you too, from mild Tikka and sweet Kashmiri to the scorching hot Thai "Red Curry" and spicy-sour Vindaloo.  And one of the best things about making "a curry" for dinner is that it can be as expensive or as cheap as you care to make it.

Case in point? The student-style chicken dish that was originally posted by Carla way back in 2007, shortly after this blog premiered! She was in college at the time (sounds familiar!) and made a lot of it at home before getting herself published!


I've written about the versatile recipes in The Healthy College Cookbook before, both in a review and when I made Carla's incredible Thai Inspired Beef and Noodle Stir-fry earlier this month. Mom's a big fan of the book, and when I told her that Carla mentioned her curry in the book, she asked to see the recipe (followed shortly with "do you think you could do this for me for your review?"). Her only request was to use up the dearth of veggies in our fridge befor that week's grocery shop. Given that putting away the produce from our grocery hauls is always touch-and-go with fridge space - we could have a walk in and it would be stuffed! - I had a bit of work to do. In the end, what started out as a chicken curry turned into what I jokingly called "vegetable curry with a smattering of chicken". Even though there was only a single chicken breast for two servings, the bulk of all the veggies made the servings more than satisfying. Spooned over just a single cup of brown Basmati rice (mom's favourite) she stretched it to three filling meals without a problem!

What's your favourite catch-all dish?

Rich Vegetable Curry with Chicken
Inspired from Carla at Chocolate Moosey
Serves 2 (or 3 with rice)
1/4 cup rice flour (or regular flour)
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ginger
pinch cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
1/4 large sweet onion, diced
170g baby carrots, chopped
2 large carrots, cut into thin coins
3/4 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup warm 1% milk
1/2 head cauliflower, finely chopped
6 button mushrooms, sliced
150g snow peas, halved
1 cooked boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed (it's best if you cook it with a moist method so as to not get a crusty edge)
  1. In a small bowl, mix the flour, sugar, curry powder, ginger and cinnamon together. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat and melt the butter.
  3. Add the onions and carrots and sauté until the onions are tender and beginning to turn golden.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2-3 minutes until everything is coated and fragrant.
  5. Combine the broth and milk and slowly pour into the skillet.
  6. Add the cauliflower and mushrooms, stir well and cover the skillet.
  7. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is thick.
  8. Stir in the snow peas and cubed chicken and cook a few more minutes until the chicken is heated through and the snow peas are crisp-tender.
Amount Per Serving  (based on two, no rice)
Calories: 373.0
Total Fat: 8.2 g
Cholesterol: 53.4 mg
Sodium: 613.8 mg
Total Carbs: 52.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 12.1 g
Protein: 25.4 g