I read about a secret recipe club over on Amanda's blog and it immediately intrigued me. How it works is, each month you are assigned a different participating food blogger and without telling them, you make one of their recipes of your choosing. Then on a specified date everyone who is participating that month posts their recreation or version of the recipe they made. I thought, what a great way to find some new food bloggers and try out some different recipes while also
forcing encouraging me to post more to my own cooking blog, so I signed up. So, I’m hoping that this will be my kick in the tush motivation to post more often to my cooking blog.
This is my first month participating and I was assigned Rachel’s Tangerine Kitchen and was beyond excited because Rachel is blogging from India and her blog is overflowing with wonderful international recipes. I must have spent hours scrolling through all of her recipes and drooling over all the possible things I could make. I narrowed my selection down to about seventeen dishes…can you tell that I liked Rachel’s blog a lot!! In the end what really helped me choose was when she wrote about being brought up on the dishes typical of Kerala cuisine and how those were her comfort foods. I knew right off the bat that we would love Kerala cuisine as the spices that are used in most of the dishes fall right into the flavor profile that Eammon and I love. In the end I chose her home style chicken curry and when putting together my shopping list I found it quite interesting that the only thing I had to purchase besides the chicken, were the fresh curry leaves and coconut oil as all the required spices are just staples in my pantry. If that wasn’t telling that we’d love this dish, I don’t know what was.
Okay I’ll admit that curry isn’t very photogenic being multiple shades of brown but the taste, well that’s a different story as it was wonderfully delicious. I’ve never cooked with curry leaves and as soon as I started cooking them with the shallots they filled the house with an interesting yet wonderful aroma.
I found that I adore munching on the slightly crisp curry leaves once they’ve been sautéed with the shallots or onions and it’s good that I liked the curry leaves and that they weigh close to nothing because they are pricy at $30 per pound.
I thought that the curry would be very spicy hot with the chili powder and all the chilies but it just had a mild kick to it. The recipe made a large amount and we enjoyed it over a few days and Eammon enjoyed it most served over Basmati rice with a mango lassi on the side.
Rachel’s recipe was simple to follow and I made just a few changes (marked in parenthesis).
2 TBS coconut oil
6 shallots, peeled and sliced
Curry leaves (I used 12)
1 c. grated coconut
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 TBS.chili powder
2 TBS. coriander powder
(I added 2 tsp. garam masala)
(I added 1 tsp. fennel seeds)
2 TBS coconut oil
4 onions, chopped
5 green chilies, stems removed and slit (I used small green Thai chilies)
1 tsp. garlic paste (I used 1.5 tsp. finely minced garlic)
1 tsp. ginger paste-1t (I used 1.5 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger)
3 tomatoes, chopped
(I added 2 med. potatoes, diced)
2.5 lbs chicken (I used boneless, skinless breasts)
Salt to taste
Shallots-3 peeled, sliced
Heat 2 TBS oil in a very large pan. Add the 6 sliced shallots and the curry leaves. When the shallots turn soft and a golden brown, add in the coconut scrapes. Fry until the coconut turns golden brown. Add in the spices and sauté for a few minutes. Take off the heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, blend the mixture with a little water into a thick paste.
Into the now empty pan add 2 TBS coconut oil, add in sliced onions and the slit green chilies. Sauté until soft and add the ginger, garlic and tomatoes. Cover and cook until the tomatoes are very soft and start breaking down. Add in the ground paste and add a few cups of water. Add the potatoes and cook until they are soft, adding water if necessary. Add the chicken and cook until the chicken is cooked adding water to make the sauce your desired consistency. Add salt to taste.
In a small sauté pan, heat oil for tempering. Add in the sliced shallots and the curry leaves. Sauté until the shallots are golden brown. Pour this into the chicken curry.