September 1, 2010

College Eats: Chicken Curry! (my way) & a new grain

Most people find Indian cooking to be a little intimidating because there are so many spices and ingredients. Although, I barely know the start of Indian cuisine, I do know that its really not that complicated - especially if all you're looking for is a little "curry" once in awhile. Of course curry is another American invention since there is no such spice called curry. Its actually a blend of turmeric (which is what give dishes that gorgeous yellow hue) and Garam Masala (literally means "hot spices").
One of my good friends from high school was Indian and she had the most adorable mom ever. As soon as her mom heard of my passion for cooking, she instantly whipped out bags of spices for me to cart off to college. Most Indian cooks make their own blend of Garam Masala and my blend comes from my friend's amazing mom (as well as the turmeric). Once you have these two ingredients, all you need is some veggies and meat.

I used chicken as well as potatoes and onions for my dish. I've also made this before using potatoes, chick peas, tomatoes and eggplants which also turned out quite nice :)

Other ingredients included some salt, pepper and garlic powder. The bag in the front on the right is a curry mix I once picked up from a farmer's marketing. Turmeric is in the middle front and the Garam Masala is the container with the white lid.
I used thighs/drumsticks since I find it to be more flavorful than chicken breasts. Although it's a little more work trimming off the fat/skin and cutting the meat from the bone, its only about an extra 7 minutes worth of prep. Threw the chicken in the pan with olive oil, cooking wine (1-2tbsp), 1tsp of salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Cooked the potatoes and onions in a separate pot since they have a longer cooking time. Added about a cup of water and waited for everything to cook down. Adding the water helps prevent burning/sticking and it also brings out the starch of the potatoes giving you a nice sauce when you mix everything together :)
Added 1 tbs of Garam Masala and 1/2 tsp of Turmeric once I mixed the veggies with the meat.
Of course it is not a proper meal unless I cover my food in Sirracha.

Bon Appetit!

Side Post: I put my curry over Quinoa (pronounced k-know-a...something like that....) instead of rice since its a much healthier alternative and it is also just as tasty! Quinoa is a gluten-free and wheat-free grain which also keeps you fuller longer.

A lot of people also seem to be intimidated when they hear Quinoa, but its just as easy as making rice in a rice cooker! Here's how I do it: You want a 1:2 ration of grain to liquid. I love using broth instead of water because it makes the dish much more flavorful. Pour the two ingredients and dash of salt into a pot and bring to a boil. Once its boiling, cover the pot and reduce to a simmer. After 20 minutes, fluff it a little and you have a meal in itself!

Some yummy variations: Saute mushrooms, onions, carrots or celery before and plop them in with the quinoa.


  1. Must try this sometime!! the quinoa looks so good and yummy colored, mmmmm

  2. Make a vegetarian version of this dish and I am yours forever.

  3. The curry looks fantastic. Quinoa is the best... hearty, healthy, and delicious.