My boys love curry, and since they’ve been pretty nice to me this week I decided to make it for them—from scratch. The last time I made curry, however, was from a bar of curry which came in a small green box, purchased from the Japanese grocery store. The bar came segmented into squares, and resembled a large, yellow bar of chocolate; the instructions were to melt a quantity of segments into a pan to instantly create a curry sauce. Since I have recently become morally opposed to instant anything, I decided to plunge ahead and recreate the dish that I’ve eaten countless times. My boys are very happy to report that I got it exactly right—rich, thick and spicy.
- 4 T. olive oil
- 3 large cloves garlic, pressed
- 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 cups chicken stock*
- 1-1/2 c. cubed chicken
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large bay leaf
- 3 carrots, chunked
- 3 potatoes, chunked
- 4 T. curry powder, or to taste
- 2 T. ground cumin seed, or to taste (click here to see how to grind your own)
- 1 c. frozen peas
– other optional ingredients could include: cauliflower florets, pineapple chunks, peppers cut into 1/2″ squares
– to make this a vegetarian curry, simply omit the chicken, boost the quantity of vegies, and use a vegetable stock
In a large saucepan (one with a lid), saute the onion in the oil. Stir in 2 tablespoons curry powder, 1 tablespoon of the ground cumin seed, the garlic and the bay leaf. Stir until well mixed, then add the chicken and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through. Add the carrots and potatoes and 1 cup of the chicken stock. Cover and simmer over a low heat for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through. Add more stock as needed, to maintain a sauce-like consistency. Taste and add more curry powder and cumin, and salt to taste.
*To make your own stock:
- 6 chicken legs
- 1 large bay leaf
Before you begin the curry, trim off meat from the chicken legs, leaving a little meat on the bones. Place the 6 bones in a small sauce pan and cover with about 4 cups of water. Add the bay leaf and about a teaspoon of salt. Cover, bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer. By the time you have cut up the vegetables and meat for the curry, and sauteed the onions and chicken, your stock will be ready to use.