Sunday, 9 August 2009
I was very surprised with the reaction of the household (and mine too) when I made this dish. I thought it would be quite sweet and sickly actually….well, as it turned out, it is sweet yet not sickly and altogether yummy! The original recipe did not call for chillies or nutmeg but I added some. Maybe it was the chillies…. and freshly ground pepper that did the trick…..
600g skinless boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into cubes
2 large brown onions - diced
2 cloves garlic – diced minced
Thumb size ginger - grated
2 tbsp English style curry powder such as McKenzie’s
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg - optional
2 ripe mangoes or 1 large tin mango pieces – pureed (see my GLOSSARY post on MANGOES)
2 tbsp cider vinegar or white vinegar
5 to 6 dried chillies - optional
‘Hard’ vegetables such as carrots, celery, capsicum or zucchini (I used carrots and celery)
Small handful of raisins - optional
1/2 cup cream or coconut milk – I used coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Coriander or celery leaves to garnish
Heat some oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté about 5 minutes (or until soft and golden. Add in the garlic and ginger and sauté for another minute.
Add in the curry powder, cumin, nutmeg with ½ cup of water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vinegar, 1 cup of water and the pureed mango. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pan from heat and using a hand held blender, puree the sauce. Alternatively, pour it into a blender and puree, then return the sauce to the pot. Simmer gently and add more water if required.
In a frying pan (with minimum oil), lightly brown the chicken along with the dried chillies and add to the sauce. You may omit this stage and add the chicken pieces and chillies straight into the simmering sauce*. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the vegetables (however, if using celery, add it only about 2 minutes before lifting - I prefer my celery crunchy so I only add it into the pot just before lifting it off the heat).
Stir in the cream or coconut milk (along with raisins, if using) and cook until it starts to come to the boil (without actually boiling as this may curdle the cream). Season with salt and pepper, lift, garnish and serve over a plate of freshly cooked rice. Hmmmm…..
PS: If the dish is too sweet, add a little more vinegar. If not sweet enough, add a dash of sugar.
Note: You may also make a few batches of the sauce and freeze them for later use. The sauce works well with just vegetables too.
*The original recipe called for the chicken to be added straight into the sauce without browning it in the first instance.
VG’s rating: 3.5 stars