Curry Is Brain Food

No. Really. It is. If you eat curry based foods, you will gain 75 IQ points. You’ll also lose copious amounts of weight. Unless you need to gain weight in which you’ll gain exactly what you need. Your sex life will improve, your skin will be brighter and clearer. Your husband will start complimenting everything you do, your kids will hang on your every word and be instantly obedient and your dog will stop peeing on the carpet. You’ll also win the lottery. Oh, the miracle that is curry.

If none of that happens though, I can at least promise you that your tongue will be happy. Wait… that sounds bad. Oh well. It will! It will it will it will!!! You HAVE to believe me! *Falls on the floor and has a temper tantrum worthy of a two year old* And I know my two years olds. I have one after all.

Ok, now that I have gotten all of that out of my system, I’ll just say that curry really does make your tongue happy. And your belly. And your toes. And your… ok, I’ll stop now.

I first started using curry powder and curry paste in my cooking about ten years ago. That was when I started slowly branching out in my food tastes from the chicken and dumpling type life I had been living before then. I was a sad sad woman food wise up until that point. Well, other than the Twinkie and Ho-Ho addiction. I will always get teary eyed and remember those days fondly.

I won’t tell you that the chicken curry I make is akin to what one will find in your favorite Indian restaurant. Yes, it is slightly Americanized and yes, it is personalized into how I like it. But isn’t that what cooking is all about really? Someone makes something, tells someone else, who then makes it their way, gives it to someone else who loves it but they also change it some to fit their personal tastes and so on and so forth.

I can however tell you that everyone who has tried chicken curry that I have made has loved it. I have converted people who thought they didn’t like spicy or even spiced (as in highly flavored) foods with this curry. I make mine fairly spicy but if you prefer a milder curry, just cut down on the Thai Chili Sauce or the red pepper flakes. If you actually like it spicier, just increase the red pepper flakes or use a hot curry powder rather than a mild one. Like I said, we try foods and then make them our own. That’s what makes cooking fun.

CHICKEN CURRY

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 small package boneless skinless chicken thighs (the thighs add moisture. Just using breasts is fine but the end product may be a bit dryer.)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup Pataks  (I have only used this brand because I loved it from day one. So I can’t vouch for other ones) mild (or medium) red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder (yes, along with the paste. It adds another layer of flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup Thai Chili Sauce
  • 2 cans Thai Kitchen coconut milk
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • juice and zest from one lime
  • For serving-  Basmati or Jasmine rice, Mango (or Cranberry) Chutney (will post my recipe for Mango Chutney at some point in time) and lime wedges
  1. In a large pot, brown your chicken breasts and thighs in batches. As with browning any meat, don’t overcrowd the pot or they will steam rather than brown. Put aside as you brown. When all are browned, drain off all but a little bit of the grease. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened.
  2. Add your curry paste, curry powder, masala and cinnamon to the pot. When spices are used dry, some can have a bitter edge, especially true for curry. Cooking it a little before adding the rest of the ingredients  leaches the bitterness, brings out flavors and also smells amazing. Stir and cook for about three minutes.
  3. Add the chicken back to the pot along with both cans of broth, one can of coconut milk, the red pepper flakes and the chili sauce. Put your other can of coconut milk in the fridge while you cook. Trust me on this. Also add the raisins & brown sugar. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender, about 90 minutes. Take chicken out and let cool until you can handle it without leaving blisters on your fingers. Leave pot of sauce cooking on low while the chicken cools. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and add back to pot. Open your other can of coconut milk and skim off and add to the pot only the solids, leaving behind the thin liquid. Simmer for two to three minutes; just long enough to heat the coconut milk up. Add in the lime juice and zest.
  4. Serve over Basmati rice with chutney and lime wedges.
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3 thoughts on “Curry Is Brain Food

  1. Hmmm, I guess I should have added that curry makes you giggle a lot too. that could be due to the happy tongue thing; I’m not sure

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