If You Always Do What You've Always Done...Then You'll Always Get What You Always Got

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Cardamom-Scented Chicken Curry

Step 1.  Find a friend with a beautiful, mouth-watering food blog.  In my case, eat, little bird.  See her post on Cardamom-Scented Chicken Curry, drool a little, and determine to cook it on the weekend.  On the Saturday morning, prepare to go to the shops to buy those couple of ingredients you think you'll need, then do a little skip when you discover you're fully stocked.  Do some practice instead.

Step 2.  On the Sunday, do some gardening, bake some fruit bread, and eat some fruit bread at about 2pm.  Go for a 13 km run, starting at about 5:30.  Start feeling hungry at about the 8 km mark.  Once returned, have a shower.

Step 3.  Gather ingredients.  1 large tomato (or, you know, 2 tomatoes if they're smallish and you really like tomato), 5-6 cardamom pods (squished a bit in the mortar and pestle), 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin, 400g chicken breast, 1 onion (chopped), 2 cm ginger (peeled and grated), 4 cloves grated garlic (although, unable to find the garlic, substitute shallots and chop finely), 1 tablespoon cornflour.  Forget how long it takes to prepare all these ingredients.  By 7:30, everything is only just prepared and you're quite hungry.  You apologise to your brother who walks in about now, thinking dinner will be at the almost-cooked stage instead of the about-to-start-cooking stage.

Step 4.  Heat about 4 tablespoons oil in a non-stick pan (or, just estimate).  Add the chopped onion, shallots and ginger, and fry until everything is softened.  Finely dice the tomatoes, and wonder how this was all meant to be done while things were heating.  Employ your brother to stir the contents of the pan while you chop.  He sees the 'few good lugs of oil' and thinks it must be a Jamie Oliver recipe.  Add the tomatoes and spices, and wish you had chillies growing already.  Add some chilli flakes instead.  Have brother keep stirring.

Step 5.  Add a splash of water and cook on high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add the chicken and saute until it's cooked.  Add 400 mL water and simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes.  Well, that's the intention.  Put on an episode of NCIS to watch while waiting, and stir the curry occasionally. 

Step 6.  When it's all curry-like, about 20 minutes into the cooking time, you will be so hungry (and tempted - it smells delicious) that enough is enough, and you serve.  Add a bit of chopped parsley from the garden (in the absence of coriander) to the top.  Even though it's meant to serve 4, both of you are so hungry you serve the whole curry.  And it's still not enough.  Some dried apricots and chocolate help fill you up while watching the new episode of NCIS that is finally shown.  Contemplate possible additions to the curry for next time - surprisingly, cabbage springs to mind.  Or the lentil dahl used in the inspiring blog post.

Step 7.  Cleaning up, you find the cornflour that was meant to be added to thicken things up... oops...  Next time, if needed.  Start thinking about the next couple of weeks, and when you might give this another go.  Put chicken on the shopping list, and go to bed.

Today's photo:

The seedlings have sprouted.  I noticed 2 lettuce seedlings yesterday, but this morning there was a very small sprinkling of green in the spinach area.  So exciting!!!  I feel I have my gardening mojo back.


  1. Oh wow!!! I love that you made this curry at home :-) And how funny that you forgot the cornflour ... I often don't read recipes fully and find out afterwards that I've forgotten something. But at least the cornflour wasn't crucial here ;-) Serving this curry with some dhal, and perhaps naan bread, definitely makes it quite filling. So in the absence of dhal, I can see how the two of you managed to eat it all. I thought about adding cauliflower next time ...

  2. ooh, cauliflower sounds lovely! I'll give it a go. I tend not to have refined carbs in the house, so naan just doesn't happen. Unless I really think ahead. Dhal might just have to happen though!
    PS my next post uses cardamom as well, I got all enthusiastic... xo