Coconut Basil Chicken Curry with Vegetables

Coconut Chicken Curry with Vegetables

There is a variety of dishes or plated food that is prepared with curry originating in the Indian subcontinent.

Though curry dishes make up a significant part of India’s food culture, there is vastly more to Indian cuisine than curry.

Curry powder though is not used in India, as authentic curry dishes from India use the leaves of the curry tree, which is related to the citrus family.

Curry leaves of the curry tree

The powder is a blend of different spices which may or may not include curry leaves.

The spices usually include ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, and fresh or dried chilies among others.

Bowl of curry powder on a wood deck

Who Invented The Curry Powder

If curry powder is not a spice mix in authentic Indian cuisine, who then coined the term curry powder?

The term curry powder was coined by the British according to the author of the book, “The Oxford Companion to Food.”

The Oxford Companion to Food

The author Alan Davidson writes, “the kind sold commercially represents an attempt by the British manufactures to provide in ready-made form a spice mixture corresponding to those uses in South India.”

You will not find a dish in India prepared with the spice mix called curry powder, but rather only with curry leaves.

In other parts of the world, when you here the word curry, it invokes an image of warm, spicy, delicious food. Such as our Coconut Basil Chicken Curry.

This dish is incredibly fragrant with coconut milk as its base.

After the curry is finished, you add fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, chopped cilantro and basil then stir in, and wait for the herbs aromatic fresh smells to get your taste buds going.

Lemon zest basil and cilantro over a pot of curry

Coconut Basil Chicken Curry with Vegetables

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, thinly sliced

1 1/2 tablespoons yellow curry powder

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper using more or less to your taste

kosher salt and black pepper

3 tablespoons sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil

2 zucchini or summer squash, diced

2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed from the cob

2-3 medium shallots, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

1 inch fresh ginger, grated

1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1 can (14 ounce) coconut milk

juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly torn

2 cups cooked basmati rice

toasted sesame seeds for serving (optional)

In a medium bowl, toss together the chicken, curry powder, turmeric, cayenne, 1 tablespoon oil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken and brown all over, about 5 minutes.

Skillet of curry chicken

Next add the zucchini, corn, shallots, garlic, and ginger. Season with crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook the veggies another 5-10 minutes or until they just begin to soften.

Stir in the coconut milk and 1/3-1/2 cup water. Stir to combine, bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, cook 5-10 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. If the sauce thickens too much, add additional water to thin.

Remove from the heat and stir in the zest, lemon juice, cilantro, and basil.

Serve along side or top over rice.

Coconut Basil Chicken Curry with Vegetables

Curried Chicken With Dried Cherries

Curried Chicken and Dried Cherries - over head viewHave you ever heard of the Curry Tree? It is a tropical to sub-tropical tree in the rue family, which also includes the citrus. The tree is native to India and Sri Lanka.

Curry Leaf Tree

curry leaves in a skillet with olive oil

Curry Leaves In A Skillet With Olive Oil

The leaves of the curry tree are used in many Indian dishes. The “sweet neem leaves” are often used in curries, as they (the leaves) are highly valued as a seasoning in southern and west-coast Indian cooking, as well as Sri Lankan cooking .

The leaves when used in curry dishes are add with the chopped onion in the first stage of the preparation of the curry dish.

potted curry leaf tree

Image Credit: Garden Amateur

The tree can be home-raised as a potted plant as it is easily grown in warmer areas of the world, or in containers where the climate is not supportive outdoors. In this image is a potted Curry tree in the yard of an Australian gardener.

Our featured dish is  – Curried Chicken With Dried Cherries – and here is what you will need, and no you will not need to hunt down some curry leaves. Unless you have a tree and want to add some leaves to the dish we are featuring.

3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks 

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon avocado oil

1 small red or purple onion, thinly sliced

2 ribs celery, sliced

1/2 cup fresh water or chicken broth

1/3 cup chopped dried cherries

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 to 1 teaspoon Himalayan Salt (optional)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons flour

cooking chicken meatIn a large ceramic coated skillet or cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stir occasionally until meat is oblique colored and just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside.

cooking onions and celeryTo the same pan add the 1 teaspoon of avocado oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sliced celery and cook, stirring for 3 minutes.

adding curry and dried cherriesNext add the cherries and 1/2 cup water and bring to a light boil. Next stir in the curry powder, salt and pepper.

Next, pour in the cream and mix in. You can also use coconut milk, which is used in traditional Indian dishes. When making this dish, we didn’t have any coconut milk, but we did have some heavy cream.

adding in chicken meat to curry mixNext add the cooked chicken along with any juices and mix in.

Curried Chicken and Dried CherriesServe over rice, couscous or eat as is.

What Others Are Reading:

Sweet Tomato Chutney

Sweet Tomato Chutney Where you aware Chutney doesn’t just describe a recipe of mixing tomatoes with spices? There are other references to Chutney, such as Chutney music that was established in the 1940’s Ramdew Chaitoe Albumwithin the temples, wedding houses, and sugar cane fields of the Indo-Caribbean.

The first recorded music did appear until 1968 by musician and music recorder Ramdew Chaitoe, who live in a small South American country named Suriname. The album was entitled King of Suriname and all of the songs were religious in nature.

There is also the Chutney Soca, and type of music according to Wikapedia, and originated in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and also Suriname.

Chutney soca music is a crossover style of music incorporating Soca elements and Hindi-English lyrics, and Chutney music (as mentioned in the on set of this article) with Indian instruments such as the dholak and dhantal.

But the Chutney we want to make extra special  mention of is a food, and it is called Sweet Tomato Chutney.

According to Food Reference,  chutney original is from India (Hindi: chatni), and is prepared as a relish made from fresh fruits and spices. They go on to mention that Chutney is almost accompanied with every meal in India.

The relish can be fresh or cooked, and is prepared with varying flavors, ranging from sweet or sour, spicy or mild, or any combination of these.

Chutney  can be thin or chunky, and can be prepared with fruits or vegetables or a combination of both.

The different types of ingredients used can be mango, apples, pears, tamarind, onions, lemon, tomato, raisins, coconut, vinegar, sugar, honey, citrus peel, garlic, ginger, mint, turmeric, cinnamon, cilantro, and hot chilies.

There is a variety of ways to prepare chutney. It really just depends on what your palate prefers.

Here is the version from the kitchen of Splendid Recipes and More….

Here is what you will need:

– All organic ingredients used –

4 medium Roma tomatoes, diced

4 medium Orange tomatoes, dice

1 large sweet onion, diced

3 gloves garlic, minced

1-2 tsp. pie spice

1 tsp. salt, preferably Himalayan salt

2 tbsp. olive oil

The orange type of tomato we used was the Woodle Orange Heirloom Tomato, which we purchased at the Whole Foods Market.

preparing in a pan over medium heat the Sweet Tomato ChutneyOver medium heat using a ceramic coated pan heat the oil.

Next add onions, garlic, spice, and sauté for 2 minutes.  Next add the diced tomatoes, salt and sugar.

Mix to combine. Leave on heat another 2 to 4 minutes, while stirring tomato mixture.

Cooling in a large ceramic mising bowl - Sweet Tomato Chutney

 

Remove from heat and pour mixture into a large mouthed mixing bowl, preferably ceramic,and allow chutney to cool.

Homemade Italian Bruschetta AppetizerChutney goes will topped over Bruschetta as shown here in the image.

Sweet Tomato ChutneyAfter the chutney has cooled, spoon into mason jars, top with lids, and tighten. Keep refrigerated.

 

 

What Others are Saying About Chutney:

Mango Coconut Rice Pudding

Mango Coconut Rice PuddingMango season in the Northern hemisphere is April to October. One does not need special skills to eat the ripe fruit. Simply peel the fruit and bite into its juicy flesh.

Many love to eat the raw skin of the fruit as well. Myself personally, I have never tried to eat the peel. Now days you can find the mango dried, or frozen. In both cases the mango is still sweet in flavor. You can juice the mango, which I have with fresh blueberries, what a yummy smoothie.

Mexico's Tasty MangoesYou can make mango salsa and even in India they make Mango Jam. Mangoes do not grow in mild to cooler climates, they are grown in tropical regions of the earth. In 2012 the consumption of mangoes by Americans was up 30% over the prior 5  years.

If you are familiar with NPR or National Public Radio (USA), they had a report the morning of April. 9, 2013 entitled “Demand Is High For Mexico‘s Magnificent Mangoes”.

Take a moment to listen. Just Click Here to listen to the 1 1/2 minute NPR Report – another window will open to here report.

Our featured recipe:

Mango Coconut Rice Pudding

1 – 14 ounce can coconut milk
¼ cup Arborio rice
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
1/6 tsp. nutmeg, ground
1/6 tsp. cinnamon, ground
¼ cup mango (pureed)
some macadamia nuts (chopped, optional)

Place the coconut milk, rice, salt, sugar and cardamom in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 25-35 minutes stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and let cool. Mix in the mango and garnish with chopped macadamia nuts.

What Others are Saying About Mangoes:

Image credit: Closet Cooking

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