Ugh, writer’s block! I don’t know how to start off this post. I asked my husband for suggestions and he told me I should write about how awesome he is.
So this is for you Mark – my husband is amazing (most of the time 😛 ) and I’m glad he was smart enough to realize what a catch I was and married me! Lol.
Alright but seriously, you know how you have those dishes you just can’t master? For me, that’s Indian cuisine. I just cannot make a good curry, especially considering I’m usually trying to lighten it up. Overall, Indian cuisine is very healthy – lots of vegetables and good for you spices, but unfortunately both my husband and I tend to love the unhealthy curries, i.e. with tons of ghee and full fat yogurt so it’s something we reserve for those rare occasions that we eat out versus a me cooking at home thing.
I know, I know, I could do dry curries and I do (I make a rocking bhindi masala), but I’m still working on figuring out some lightened up wet curry versions. So until then I’m taking baby steps since I love the complexity of flavors that different masalas give.
I can’t vouch for how authentic this actually is, but we loved every bite. I kept it simple and served it with a bit of naan, but you could, of course, serve with some Basmati rice.
- ¾ lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into ¾ inch pieces
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger, divided
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced divided
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds (sub fennel if you don’t have fenugreek – it won’t be the same, but will be approximate)
- ¾ tsp brown or black mustard seeds
- 1 ¼ tsp turmeric, divided
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 lb okra, cut into rounds
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- ½ lb of thin Asian eggplants, cut into half moons (note – if you use the regular Italian globe kind, I’d recommend cutting it in half, salting it and letting it sit before you do the chicken and vegetables in order to draw out the bitterness. Just wash the salt off well before cutting it into pieces)
- ½ cup carrot chips/coins or 1 large carrot sliced
- 3 dried red chilies such as chile de arbol, cayenne, or Thai (Thai is hotter)
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup fresh minced cilantro
- Toast the coriander, cumin, fenugreek and mustard seeds over medium low heat until fragrant. Remove to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind. Combine ground spices with remaining ¾ tsp turmeric.
- Toss chicken with lemon juice, ½ Tbsp ginger, 2 cloves of garlic, salt and ½ tsp turmeric and allow to marinate for 30 minutes while you prep the vegetables.
- Heat oil in a wok. Add onion and stir fry for 2 – 3 minutes or until softened. Add remaining ½ Tbsp ginger, garlic and dried chilies and cook another 30 seconds. Add in carrots, red bell pepper, and okra, continue to cook another 1 – 2 minutes.
- Push vegetables up to the sides or the wok (or if necessary remove to another plate) and add the chicken. Stir fry for another 4 - 7 minutes or until chicken has browned and cooked through.
- Mix chicken stock with cornstarch. Add in chicken stock mix and spices and continue to cook until thickened. Remove and garnish with cilantro.
*Prep time does not including marinating time, although you could marinate the chicken ahead or time, or just throw the chicken in the marinade and then prep the rest of the ingredients.