Yellow Coconut Curry

Alec loves curry, loves it.  I haven’t been making it too much because when I was pregnant it made me sicker than anything.  And I have been a little slow to go back to eating it.  This past weekend, I did make a curry that we both enjoyed a lot.  We found a recipe from one of our cookbooks and adapted it.  We were not sure what it was going to end up tasting like, but it had a Thai curry flavor to it.  The curry paste is very spicy, but the coconut cream in it mellows it out nicely.  Even Lucy thought it was good.  Granted this was not a great parenting move here, but she kept batting at my food and trying to eat it, so finally I gave her a taste of the sauce figuring she would dislike it and let me eat in peace.  She loved it to our utter amazement.  Don’t worry, I did not give her any more, but I think she is going to be an adventurous eater.

Yellow Coconut Curry

The Paste:

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2-3 died red chilis

2 lemongrass stems, white part only, finely chopped

3 shallots, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon ground tumeric

A dash of oil for mixing

Method:

Dry-fry the coriander and cumin seeds until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.

Grind the seeds to a powder with a mortar and pestle.

You can use pre-ground cumin and coriander to be honest, it just won’t be quite as fragrant.  But if that is what you have, go ahead and use it.

Next, remove the stems and seeds from the chilis and soak in water for 10 minutes to re-hydrate them.  We found a big bag of dried hot chilis at United Noodle for only $2.  Drain and chop.

I put everything into the food processor in order to get it nice and smooth.

This is the paste after processing:

This recipe makes enough for two batches of the Yellow Coconut Curry.  The curry paste will stay fresh for one week in the fridge.  Just a warning, this stuff is pretty hot on its own.

The Yellow Coconut Chicken Curry Recipe:

1 tablespoon oil

2 tablespoons of the yellow curry paste

1 pound chicken breast, sliced

1 can coconut cream (it is important to get coconut cream and not coconut milk–though the milk is much easier to find.  They are two very different things, and the dish will not turn out with the milk.  I found the coconut cream at Cub in the ethnic food section, but was not able to find it at all at Rainbow)

6 green onions sliced

1 (1o ounce) can of sliced bamboo shoots

2 teaspoons sugar

1 large handful of basil

juice of half a lime

Method:

Cook the chicken in a wok (or large fry pan) in the oil.  Once the chicken is getting cooked, add in the curry paste and completely coat the chicken.  Add in the coconut cream, green onions, bamboo shoots, and sugar.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce was thickened.

Right before you are going to serve the curry, add in the basil and the lime juice.  The basil is soooo good in this dish, do not skip it!

Finally is a picture of me trying to enjoy the meal, but little Miss Lucy had other plans.

After realizing we would not give her any more curry, she decided to entertain herself with my napkin.  It might be because it had some curry flavor to it.  She is a funny little girl.

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Madras Beef Curry and Chapatis

Tonight Alec made Madras Beef Curry for dinner.  It was wonderful.  I generally make the food in our house, so it was very nice to have the night off too! Although he did the cooking I took some pictures and saw enough to post the recipe here.  To accompany the meal, I quick made some Chipatis, which is are unleavened flat bread from India.  We also made some Ceylon tea because I mistakenly thought it was from India, but it is actually from Sri Lanka.  For some tea that is actually from India, you could try Darjeeling, Assam, or Nilgiri (Darjeeling is my favorite of the three).

First you need to start by making the Madras curry paste.  This recipe makes about 1/2 cup of curry paste.

2 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground tumeric

2 cloves crushed garlic

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1/3 cup white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

Dry-fry the coriander and cumin seeds for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, then move from the pan.  Grind the seeds to a powder with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.

Put the coriander and cumin, the mustard seeds,  black pepper, chili powder, turmeric, garlic, ginger, and salt in a small bowl and mix together well.  Add the vinegar and mix to a smooth paste.  The paste will keep for about a month in the fridge.

Madras Beef Curry

1 tablespoon ghee (we used butter)

1 onion, chopped

3 tablespoons of the madras curry paste

2 pounds chuck steak, trimmed and cut into 1″ cubes

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 cup beef stock

Sauté the onion in the ghee or butter until browned.  Add the curry paste and stir for about 1 minute or until fragrant.

Add the meat and cook, stirring, until coated with the curry paste.  Stir in the tomato paste and stock.  Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 1 hour and 15 minutes, and then uncovered for another 15.

When done the meat should be tender and the sauce will be nice and thick. See picture below:

Serve with rice.

Chapatis

Chapatis are much quicker to make than naan, which is why I chose it to be honest.  They remind me a little bit of a whole wheat tortilla with butter brushed on.  They are grilled instead of baked.  If you have a griddle, it works really well, but a pan would be fine too.

1 1/2 cup atta or whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

scant 1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon olive oil

melter ghee or butter

To make mine a little more flavorful, I added some cumin seeds and a dash of curry powder to the dough.

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl (if using extra spices, add them here).  Add the water and mix to a soft dough. I did this with the dough hook attachment on my Kitchen Aid Mixer.  Add the oil.  After mixing, turn out the dough on a lightly oiled surface.

Knead for 5-6 minutes or until smooth.

Place in a covered bowl for 1/2 hour.  Turn out onto a floured surface.  Divide into 6 equal pieces.  Shape each into a ball.  Press the dough into a larger round with the palm of your hand, then roll into a 5 inch round.

Heat a griddle or frying pan to medium-high heat.  If using a pan, cook the chipatis one at a time.  You can cook more with a griddle.  Cook for a couple of minutes or until they start to bubble and brown slightly.

When cooked, brush them with some melted butter or ghee.