September 17, 2011

Kashmiri Chicken Curry.

If you are new to my blog, please read my welcome note first - basically put - if you try one of my recipes, you are to feed one hungry person. Keep the Energy flowing.

The other day a friend who knows how much I relish spices, gave me a little box of Kashmiri curry. It looked different from the other curry mixes I've seen. Kind of darker and oh, the smell.
So of course I had to use it ASAP. I started digging around for a typical recipe from Kashmir, and most were quite complicated and time consuming. Finally stumbled on one, that is easy to prepare, takes about 45mn max, and is sooo will just love me for it (I hope) :-)

But first, you will need some Kashmiri curry mix. If you are into spices like I am, am sure you know places where you can buy those delicate mixes. If not, and that's quite unfortunate you will have to prepare your own mix, or just settle for your regular curry which is quite a shame really.

If you want to prepare your own because you can't find it ready made, here are the following spices you need to use in equal measures.

Ground : Coriander, cardamom, caraway, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, pepper, nutmeg, fennel, aniseed, turmeric, all spice. Have fun mixing. Trust me, settle for already made.

So let's get to the Kashmiri chicken curry, with perfumed rice and yogurt salad.

Chicken Curry for 2 :

- 300 grams of boneless, skinless WASHED chicken filet, cut in small chunks
- 1 cm of FRESH ginger finely minced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic finely minced
- 2 small onions finely chopped
- 2 tsp of Kashmiri curry
- 5-6 branches of fresh cilantro/coriander leaves only - minced
- about 80--100 grams of yogurt (full fat forget skimmed for now)
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- a pinch of saffron threads (not powder)
- 2 tsp of minced bleached almonds
- 2 tsp of unsalted minced pistachios (without the outer skin of course)
- 1 tbs of cooking oil
- salt to taste if your chicken cube stock is not salty enough.

Preparation :

- stir fry finely chopped onions in hot oil, until tender
- mix in your garlic and ginger paste plus the curry and stir for 2 mn or so
- add your chicken cubes, mix well and leave until they are golden (ish), use medium heat
- add chopped fresh cilantro.
- meanwhile grill pistachios and almonds with a tiny bit of oil, until almonds go light gold
- dilute 1 cube chicken stock in 1 cup of boiling water, add to the chicken, stir and leave it
COVERED on medium heat for about 10mn or so.
- after 10mn, add HALF of the almonds and pistachios, the yogurt and threads of saffron
- MIX well and leave covered on medium heat for another 15mn or so
- look for texture and consistency. Not too liquid, not too thick.

Rice preparation for 2.

- you can take the easy way out and just prepare BASMATI rice (paraboiled rice is FORBIDDEN in my kitchen) or go for something a little more interesting and oh so tasty.

In either case :

1 cup of rice for two is usually sufficient.
WASH rice thoroughly until the water comes out clear of any starch
heat a little oil add your rice, plus salt, mix well
add ONE cup of boiling water, let it boil once and leave on VERY LOW heat until water is completely absorbed

Now for the interesting bit :

Prepare rice as above, but add some ground cardamom and some EDIBLE dried rose petals, just a pinch. If you don't have edible rose petals, use a bit of rosewater.

Serve with the curry and decorate rice with the rest of almonds and pistachios and sprinkle some rose petals on top.

A cool refreshing salad that goes with this meal is Cucumber yogurt salad.

- cut cucumber in small pieces
- add yogurt, enough to cover the cucumber
- add salt
- add cumin
- add dried mint.
- add a dash of pepper
- Mix well and serve cold.

Serve all the above with MANGO chutney and finish off with a refreshing, mango sorbet with pieces of fresh mango mixed inside topped with fresh mint leaves.

And don't forget KASHMIR nor those who don't have the luxury of food.

Bon appétit.