Monday, June 13, 2011

Home Style Chicken Curry and The Secret Recipe Club

IMG_7799e2 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. 

IMG_7807eOkay 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. 

IMG_7812 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).

Home Style Chicken Curry  (adapted from here)

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
For tempering
Coconut oil-1T
Shallots-3 peeled, sliced
Curry Leaves

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.



  1. Hi Lisa! I participated in the Secret Recipe Club too. I was assigned your blog. Guess what I made? Your Mango Lassi. Too funny that you featured it again in your new post. I never had it before. It's incredible. So psyched to meet you through here and look forward to trying more of your recipes.

  2. Lisa, you picked a favourite of mine. Thanks for the all the lovely words. Must say, the chicken looks really delicious, just the way we Keralites like it with all those curry leaves. I must remind myself to treasure the easily available in plenty curry leaves when you have to pay a price for it. In Southern India, most houses have curry leaf trees owing to their wide use in our cuisine.

  3. That dish looks excellent. I haven't been able to find curry leaves (fresh or dried) for some reason. I must be looking in the wrong places.

    I'll need to step up the search if I'm going to try this!

  4. Oooooh, this looks fantastic! I love making curry at home, and this recipe sounds absolutely delicious! :)

  5. I've never heard of curry leaves, but your description of this dish makes me what to find them! Sounds great!

  6. mmm... so now I know what to do with those curry leaves :-). next time I'm buying them and making your curry :-). Great recipe!

  7. That looks so good! Hope to find a market that sells curry leaves around here.

  8. Oh my, this looks delicious - I love curry and the spices in this dish sound so good. I also like curry leaves - I'll have to try this!

  9. This looks oh-so-good! My dad is currently posted at trivandrum in kerala and I had the opportunity to freak out on kerala cuisine and enjoyed every bite I had! Bookmarking this recipe- will give it a try for sure!

  10. Welcome to the club! Your chicken curry sounds so delicious. It's what I love to order in restaurants. How great that you can make your own.

  11. This is one really tasty looking chicken curry! I have a curry leaf tree just outside my kitchen and don't use it often enough in my cooking, and now you're telling me they cost nearly $30 a pound where you're at? Well, I better start using the curry leaves a bit more, then! Love the mango lassi recipe you have here too, btw.

  12. You have a beautiful blog!! THe chicken curry looks delicious. It's my first time participating in Secret Recipe, too

  13. Isn't the Secret Recipe Club so fun?! I can't wait until next month!

    This curry looks amazing, and I'm jealous that you were able to find fresh curry leaves at your Farmer's Market!

  14. I make chicken, usually on Fridays and I think, this recipe should go to the top of the list. It sounds really delicious.

  15. I love curry though I often just buy prepared spice mixes from my favorite spice store so now I have to hunt down some curry leaves because I would love to try this.

    Some great finds in this not so 'secret' club of ours, huh?

  16. I am happy to be a part of the Secret Recipe Club and in such good company. This looks so delicious and full of flavor. Curry leaves are a new ingredient to me and I am interested in trying them some day.

  17. What a gorgeous selection!!! Your photos are marvelous...and I can see why this is such a comforting dish. Nice job with the SRC :)

  18. Hi Lisa is my first time in the Secret Recipe Club too!! Thanks for stopping by I love your chicken curry, see you soon!! gloria

  19. That sounds absolutely delicious. I have never even heard of curry leaf!

  20. This looks fabulous!
    This was also my first month in the Secret Recipe Club. How fun! I'm already excited about next month.

  21. Curry leaves are something I have never used in cooking before. Must try it. I always thing curry's taste much nicer when they are homemade. It's great to see all these new blogs vis the SRC. Thanks for stopping by mine!

  22. I have never heard of curry leaves! Wow. That looks delicious, though. I would eat it!

  23. Hey Lisa! This looks cool -- as a expatriate Keralite living in Doha, I am very partial to Kerala cuisine. I love this chicken curry and I can imagine how delicious it tasted especially with the seasoning with curry leaves and shallots - YUM!

    Thanks so much for popping over to my space! :)

  24. Yummy Blog and delicious chicken with curry leaves!

  25. I love this recipe - I have looked high and low for curry leaves and they are not easy to come by. My mouth is just watering over this dish!

  26. $30 a pound?! That's insane! I've never seen curry leaves but I'm going to start searching for them so I can try this. It looks delicious!

  27. Looks delicious... and totally up my alley. The next time I make chicken I am going to use this curry recipe!

    I make most of my food mild or with no chilies so my toddler can enjoy it!


  28. Your chicken curry looks truly amazing! Glad to be in the SRC with you.

  29. Hi Lisa,
    The Secret Recipe Club sounds like such an adventurous event. I can "feel" your excitement from here.

    And that dish, well, what better way to experience all those recipes we promise ourselves we will one day make, it looks absolutely delicious!!!

    I've only recently learned of curry leaves and now I have yet another use for them. Perhaps I will one day splurge.

    Thank you so much for sharing...

    P.S. We're playing the Picnic Game at my blog if you want to take a peek:)

  30. I have been looking for curry leaves. It is nice to know that when I find them they won't be terribly expensive (unless I buy a whole pound!). Your bowl of curry actually looks quite tasty to me.


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