Today I cracked open the curry paste. It was so aromatic. You know what I’m talking about-- that characteristic aroma of Indian spices. The paste tasted good coming right out of the jar—full of flavor and adequately salted. There were cooking suggestions on the label, but I wanted to do a little bit of experimenting myself. I was thinking something in the way of buttered chicken, just kicked up a notch. What I ended up with was so tasty and surprisingly easy. No elaborate doctoring, like is often the case with other store-bought pastes or simmer sauces. Even before the addition of cream, the curry was rich and well spiced (but not spicy hot). Even Sonny ate every morsel on his plate, despite early protestations that it looked gross*.
*Side note: Sonny is currently at the stage where everything that’s not pizza, burgers or mac-n-cheese looks gross. This basically means everything I put on the table. He starts by refusing to eat it; we threaten with consequences. He gives in and finally tastes it. Usually he ends up eating his entire serving without further incident. We go through this ritual almost every evening and it exasperates me to no end. Please tell me he will outgrow this stage very soon.
I know the paste can be found at Whole Foods in the Portland area as well as online at www.katmandufoods.com. The retail store is in Salem, OR.
Creamy Indian Curry with Chicken
- 1 ½ tbs Shiba's Curry Paste
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 3 tbs ghee (or half oil and butter is fine too)
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 4 chicken thighs, cut into chunks or slices
- splash of heavy cream (maybe a tablespoon or two)
- salt, to taste
- sugar, to taste (I used a pinch to offset the tomato paste)
While the onions are browning, combine the curry paste with the tomato paste. Mix well.
When the onions are sufficiently browned/softened, turn down the heat a little and add the paste mix. Cook for about 30 seconds to a minute, stirring constantly to keep it from burning and sticking. You should smell a delicious aroma coming from the pot.
Turn the heat back up a little and add the chicken. Sauté until the chicken doesn’t appear raw, about 2 or 3 minutes. A little liquid will be released from the chicken and it should appear to be simmering robustly. Turn down the heat to low and simmer covered for about 30 minutes. You shouldn’t need to add any water, but if it appears too dry, just add a little water to prevent burning.
After about 30 minutes, remove the lid and add the cream. Stir and adjust flavor with salt and a little sugar if necessary. Give it a quick stir, and you’re done! Serve immediately with steamed basmati rice or naan bread.