Wednesday, July 13, 2011
As we pulled up to the new market, we had no idea what to expect. The trip was just long enough that the kids fell asleep in the back of the car. There were the usual signs of a Grand Opening - colorful, triangle flags strung across the front of the store...hustle and bustle in the parking lot. There was a young Indian woman dressed in a Sari offering customers cool cups of tea...
My husband and I decided (in the interest of letting sleeping babes lay) I would run into the store to scope it out, while he hung back with the kids. I opened the car door and with a great sense of excitement (curbed only by my own conscience not to get too worked up in case of immense disappointment) ...I entered the market...
Ten minutes later....I approached the window to my husband's side of the car, "wake those little ones up, THIS you need to see..."
There were aisles and aisles of foreign vegetables, spices, nuts, flours, chutneys, Basmati rice and cookware. There were Indian families filling their carts with a sense of knowledge and confidence I so wished I possessed...
Spiky looking gourds, small beans in paper like husks, bark like pods... I wanted to know what everything was and exactly what I would do with it. Instead, without looking too obvious (or so I thought at the time) I began shadowing people. I took note of the items they were placing in their baskets ...then I would do the same....
But as we left the market that day and returned home...it was CLEAR we were overwhelmed and ill-prepared. Turns out those spiky "gourd like" things I bought were, Indian Bitter Melons...coined, "the most bitter fruit on earth." Words online such as, "detest" and "abhor" were just a few choice adjectives people used to described its taste.
In the meantime, I've been scouring my Indian Cookbooks and compiling a list of ingredients I MUST pick up the next time I return to the Market...and then I made this...Karahi Chicken.
No crazy ingredients here ~ this dish that is sometimes simply referred to as, "Chicken with Green Chilies and Ginger" originally reigns from the boarder of Northern India and Pakistan.
If there is only one dish in the entire world that represents a reason we all just need to get along...it is this one.
Tomatoes, green chilies, garlic, ginger and fragrant spices come together to make a simple meal full of complex flavors and textures....serve it with naan or any Indian style bread (photographed here is a store bought PARATHA) and your diner's will suspect you ordered out from your favorite Indian Restaurant!!!
completely adapted from Karahi Chicken by English_Rose on Food.com
For the Karahi curry sauce:
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large fresh green chilies (or 4 small ones), chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon ginger root, peeled and grated or finely diced
1 14 ounce can of fire roasted, diced tomatoes, pureed
1/2 cup water
For the chicken:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 in pieces
cilantro leaf, to garnish
For the karahi curry sauce: heat the oil in a medium to large pot, add the onions, garlic and chillies and fry over a medium heat for approximately 10 minutes or until the onions are caramelised.
Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt and garam masala and stir. Mix in the ginger and fire roasted tomatoes and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the water and cook for about 5 minutes or until the oil surfaces. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
For the chicken: heat the oil in a wok or heavy-based frying pan and add the chicken. Stir-fry over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown all over. Add the cooked chicken to the pot with the karahi curry sauce and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with Basmati rice.