Sweet Onion Curry

with coconut milk

Here I am, sitting on my couch, drinking my cold brew coffee, as I do every morning, but this morning it’s different because I’m looking at the thermometer that tells me it is a mere 71 degrees in my apartment right now! The windows are open, I’m wrapped up in a blanket and lounging in my favorite sweatpants from high school (of course – the holes make them extra comfortable and allow for the occasional breeze), thinking that maybe it’s time to switch to hot coffee. I’ll have to get Kramer’s feedback on the issue. Coffee is obviously not something to take lightly. I’m sure you’ve read no fewer than ten thousands articles on the proper way to make cold brew and what the maximum acceptable amount of days are for purchasing pre-roasted coffee beans. Kramer’s actually got a nasty cold right now – maybe he should be drinking hot tea and not worry about coffee. Good luck with that. Even when I’m deathly ill, I need my coffee. It’s comforting and wakes me up and makes me feel alive. I’m basically at that point where I need to ingest something in order to feel human most mornings. Ah, yes. The rites of passage into adulthood. I just need it, okay? I am looking forward to cooking up a little New Orleans style coffee this winter. Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow. Some chicory, a pinch of cinnamon…that sounds nice and warming, and maybe it’ll even help with Kramer’s cold just a bit. Anyway, bottom line is that it’s cold and I’m drinking cold coffee. We’ll see how long I can hold out.

Sweet Onion Curry

Kramer enjoying pulled pork from Dinosaur BBQ, grilled beef heart on toast from April Bloomfield, smoked pork belly with mole and salsa verde from Fatty ‘Cue, and pb&j ice cream from OddFellows.
Our weekend was busy but not insane like it was during the summer, which seems to be about par for the course. When it’s summer, everyone seems to take a step back and focus on partying, having fun, being outside, all of that. When it gets a little chillier, everyone else seems to chill out a bit, too. Soon I’m not even going to want to leave the warm comforts of my apartment. On Friday night, after walking around the East Village for forever trying to find a restaurant that wasn’t completely packed (I hate going out on the weekends in Manhattan for this very reason), we grabbed some Ukranian comfort food at Velseka. The service was absolutely horrendous but my matzo ball soup was delicious and my beer was big, so I’ll let it slide. We headed to Under St. Mark’s to see some improv, followed by a not-so-harrowing trek back to our apartment, as the L train stopped running halfway through (thanks, construction). On Saturday, we slept in a bit, then Kramer did some homework while I made a cake for a friend’s birthday (more on that later) and we watched Django Unchained. That movie always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. We ate dinner with Morgan at Zona Rosa, where I enjoyed two fantastic jalapeño margaritas and lamb tacos, before heading to his place for a little get together and said cake. I was definitely nursing a bit of a hangover come Sunday morning, but I ordered a smoothie and Kramer and I watched New Girl, took naps and got it together before walking over to the Taste Talks All-Star Cookout. All of that delicious food certainly cured what ailed me. My absolute favorite was a fatty, salty, deliciously meaty rib eye sandwich on freshly made bread from The Meat Hook. I would have liked a second portion of that. But everything was really tasty, April Bloomfield was there serving up food on the line at her booth, and the weather was absolutely perfect. The line for ice cream at the event was crazy long, and in need of just a little something sweet after all of our tastings, we stopped by OddFellows for a bit of what I would say is New York’s best ice cream. I had peanut butter and jelly and Kramer had buttermilk biscuit, which actually had pieces of biscuits in it! Genius. Then it was home in time for Breaking Bad. Usually I’ll just go to sleep and watch late-night-shows the next day, but you can’t do that with Breaking Bad because everyone freaks out the next day and I can’t handle it!

Sweet Onion Curry

My friend Amanda’s mother Polly was kind enough to gift me a big jar of her famous mango chutney recently, which is what inspired this curry recipe. I adore curry and make it pretty often, probably at least two or three times a month, because it’s easy to throw together and always packed with flavor. This, however, is my absolute favorite curry recipe. I love onions and garlic – I would put them in everything if I could, and honestly, I probably already do – and this curry is chock-full of ’em. You start by just straight up pureeing two whole onions, then cooking that together with an additional thinly sliced onion, grated garlic and ginger, and bell peppers, in addition to plenty of curry powder, garam masala and other spices. Add in some chicken (or extra vegetables if you want to keep this vegetarian), and you’ve got yourself a fragrant, aromatic curry perfect for the fall season. I made a huge batch of this one day and Kramer and I had it for lunch all week with some naan and, of course, Taj McCall’s excellent mango chutney (made with mangos straight from Nevis, mind you). Not everyone has access to this chutney, but I do recommend either grabbing at jar at the store or making your own (may I recommend this cranberry or tomato version). Making this a day or two ahead is a great idea, as the flavors only intensify and get more delicious as it sits. You may think that an onion-heavy curry such as this would be too pungent, but in fact, as the onions cook, they become sweet and caramelized, and even Kramer, who wouldn’t dig a too-oniony dish, loves this curry and always asks me to make more. Give it a try and become a believer.

Sweet Onion CurrySmoked beef tenderloin and corn succotash from Hill Country, mutton burgoo and cornbread from House of Tarlow, grilled yellow fin tuna collar over chickpeas and tomatoes from Vinegar Hill House and Rucola, grilled rib eye with chimmichurri on freshly made chapa bread from The Meat Hook (my favorite), grilled beef tongue and couscous from Mile End Deli, and smoked chicken thighs with minted yogurt from Pies ‘n’ Thighs.

Sweet Onion CurryStill hungry? Let’s make some curry. The best part of this curry is the amount of sweet, delicious onions that are involved. Go ahead and puree two of them to start.

Sweet Onion CurryThen combine with your garlic, ginger, lemon juice and spices.

Sweet Onion CurrySaute your sliced onions and peppers, then add in your pureed onion mixture, followed by your chicken, then the coconut milk and cilantro or coriander leaves.

Sweet Onion CurryI highly recommend enjoying this curry alongside naan and some of Taj McCall’s mango chutney straight from Nevis (much like the honey I used to make these cookies). Thanks again for the chutney, Polly!

Sweet Onion CurrySweet Onion Curry

Sweet Onion Curry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-5
My favorite curry with pureed and caramelized onions, chicken and coconut milk.
  • 3-4 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large yellow onions, divided (2 to be pureed, one to be thinly sliced)
  • 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
  • 1 2-inch piece of ginger, grated or finely minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk (regular or light)
  • ¼ cup coriander or cilantro leaves
  • sliced chives or scallions, for garnish
  1. First get your vegetables ready. Take 2 of your onions, peel and roughly chop them, then place in a food processor and puree until smooth. To your pureed onions, add your grated or minced garlic and ginger (I like to use a microplane to do this, or you can puree them with the onions or just finely mince - it's up to you), lemon juice, curry powder, paprika, garam masala, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and mix to combine. Set aside.
  2. Heat your olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or pot over medium heat. Thinly slice your third onion and bell peppers and add them to the hot olive oil. Saute the vegetables for 8 minutes, until beginning to caramelize, then add in your pureed onion mixture. Stir to combine.
  3. Cut your chicken into bite-sized pieces and add it to the onion mixture. Stir to combine, then allow to cook for 10 minutes or so, stirring often. Pour in your coconut milk, stir, and allow the curry to cook for an additional 10 minutes on medium. Add in your cilantro leaves and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the curry for 30 minutes, to allow the flavors to develop (if you have the time). Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Garnish with some sliced scallions or chives and serve alongside toasted naan bread or rice.


10 Responses

  1. If you loved the biscuits in the ice cream concept, definitely try and get your hands on some Jeni’s Splendid Loveless Biscuit + Peach Jam [inspired by local Nashville goodies!]. So delicious. Especially when paired with her Sweet Corn + Black Raspberries.

  2. I looooove a good curry. This sounds great!

  3. Anna says:

    Oh mannnn, that curry looks awesome! Can’t wait to try it during one of the crisper fall evenings! (I am also very excited about lower temps in the Northeast.)

  4. Yum – i never get sick of curry.

  5. polly mccall says:

    your curry looks wonderful. I just made more chutney and will send one over with Amanda and will make this wonderful looking curry this weekend. Your blog is terrific and your cooking really creative.

  6. i feel warm and cozy just reading this post!

  7. I can’t say that I have gotten into that style of coffee. I do need my long black to get going in the morning but I have it at work. Sounds like you were very busy this week! I wish I could reach through the screen and grab a scoop of this curry. Looks amazing.

  8. […] For no other reason than the title made me hungry – Sweet Onion Curry […]

  9. canalcook says:

    This looks wonderful. I love onions as well to the detriment of my social life. No stew, curry or pasta seems complete without them

  10. This curry looks great for this cooler weather. I`m absolutely head over heels in love with all sorts of curry!

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