My mother used to make curry. She would make a chicken or been stew and then add about 3/4 Tbl of yellow Curry Powder. We LOVED it! Now I know it wasn’t really curry, but at that time it was what we had. In the last few years I have been introduced to what curry really is.

    …a generic term primarily employed in Western culture to denote a wide variety of dishes originating in Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Thai or other Southern and Southeastern Asian cuisines,…

And Curry Powder: Curry powder, a commercially prepared mixture of spices, is largely a Western notion, dating to the 18th century. Such mixtures are commonly thought to have first been prepared by Indian merchants for sale to members of the British Colonial government and army returning to Britain.Wikipedia

Now that I know about other spice mixtures not all of my curries are the same. {They also are NOT very photogenic!}
Like this one:

    Chicken with Cream
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
    1 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 kg 350 g (3 Ib) chicken pieces, skinned {I used boneless thighs}
    6-7 cloves garlic. peeled
    2.5 cm (1 inch) cube fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
    320 ml (1 1/2 cups) water
    6 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
    2 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
    4 tablespoons plain yogurt
    1 teaspoon garam masala
    6 tablespoons heavy cream

Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. 1 teaspoon of the cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of the coriander, 1/4 teaspoon of the turmeric, V4 teaspoon of the cayenne, and some
black pepper on the chicken pieces. Mix well and set aside for at least 1 hour.
Put the garlic and ginger into the container of an electric blender or food
processor. Add 120 ml (1/2 cup) of the water and blend until fairly smooth.
Put the oil in a wide, preferably nonstick, pot and set over medium-high heat.
When hot, put in as many chicken pieces as the pot will hold easily in a single
layer and brown lightly on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set
aside in a bowl. Brown all the chicken pieces the same way.
Put the chopped onion into the remaining oil. Stir and fry until the pieces turn
a medium-brown color. Add the garlic-ginger paste. Stir and fry until all the
water from the paste evaporates and you see the oil again. Put in the remaining
1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon coriander, V4 teaspoon turmeric, and 1/4 teaspoon
cayenne. Stir and fry for about 20 seconds. Now put in the chopped tomatoes.
Turn the heat down to medium-low. Stir and cook the spice paste for
3-4 minutes, mashing the tomato pieces with the back of a slotted spoon as you
do so. Add the yogurt. a tablespoon at a time, incorporating it into the sauce
each time before you add any more. Put in the chicken pieces and any
accumulated juices, the remaining 200 ml (1 cup) water, and 1 teaspoon salt.
Bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Take off the
cover. Add the garam masala and cream. Mix gently.
Turn the heat up to medium high and cook, stirring gently every now and then,
until the sauce has reduced somewhat and has turned fairly thick.

I have made this dish from Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking {page 98} many times and it is always delicious. And warm. And spicy. And very comforting.

IHCC is cooking with Madjur Jaffrey for 6 months (October – March). Come join us.

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