Saturday, April 10, 2010

Curry in a hurry

Chicken chops, which are the thighs still on the bone are great for curry, never be tempted to use breasts as they can't cope with the cooking required and the result will be a stringy dry disaster.  Thighs are cheaper and work a treat.  It's not scary using spices, I have some Indian friends and they all have their own special blends.  They suggested I use the Babas brand as my mainstay then add whatever others suit my particular taste.
I use a mixture of 1tsp each, smokey paprika, tumeric, coriander, Babas meat & poultry powder and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 red onions, 3 cloves garlic & salt, saute in a little olive oil, or clarified butter until the spices release their flavours and the onions soften.  Cool slightly and add 2 cups plain yoghurt.  Cut some slits in the chicken chops down to the bone and rub with the yoghurt mixture, refrigerate until ready to cook. 
Roti is available at most supermarkets now and is great to soak up the sauce along with some steamed Basmati rice.  Next step is gently fry the chicken chops, reduce flame, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Coconut cream or plain milk can be added to the sauce if required.  A simple cucumber, tomato and fresh coriander raita can be sprinkled on top just before serving.  To cut your cooking time further the spices, onion & yoghurt can be massaged into the chicken without cooking first, the flavour won't be as intense but still good.  Roti bread keeps well in the freezer and can always be on hand, simply heat in the oven, or thaw and throw in a hot frying pan to crisp up.

Tips on Rice..  Cooked rice is one the most dangerous foods if not stored and used within a specific time.  Leftover cooked rice should be refrigerated asap, and eaten within three days, it forms a deadly bacteria and if consumed can cause a severe strain of food poisoning, a pleasant piece of info I gleaned from my restaurant days,  I was unaware that the humble rice grain was so sinister!  Famous catch phrase in professional kitchens, "If in doubt, chuck it out" good advice I think.

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