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.
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.
Smoked 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.
Still 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.
Then combine with your garlic, ginger, lemon juice and spices.
Saute 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.
I 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!
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.