Most of us procure an image of Indian cuisine when the word curry powder is mentioned in a recipe but according to Wikipedia curry powder is actually a Western invention. Popularised in the 19th-20th century, original blends of curry were largely available until the 1960s-70s. The increasing demand for Indian cuisine made it uneconomical to maintain original blends and so a standardized version was born. Typical ingredients are: coriander, fenugreek, turmeric, cumin and red pepper. The McCormick brand in my pantry also includes: black pepper, bay leaves, celery seed, nutmeg, cloves, onion and ginger.
I have never cooked much with curry powder but an unfortunate purchase of 1kg of chicken fillets that were already thawed (an unusual practice I was not aware of until my shopping was delivered home) meant that I could not freeze the chicken as I intended and it needed to be cooked. Scrambling around my kitchen to see what I could make with it, I came across a Chicken & Potato Curry recipe amongst my collection and all I was missing was the curry powder which I picked up at my local mini-mart.
We were pleasantly surprised with the end result, especially since we wound down the curry so Trinity could eat it as well. Needless to say, the food was polished off the plates and we had a rare experience of eating a home cooked meal.
Chicken & Potato Curry
1T olive oil
4 large coliban (washed) potatoes, cut into 2cm chunks
1 large brown onion, halved and thinly sliced
1T curry powder (1 tsp if kids are eating or people who don't like spicy food)
500g chicken thigh fillets, trimmed of excess fat, cubed
1C vegetable stock
1C frozen green beans
1C frozen peas or mixed veggies (whatever is in your freezer)
Roti or naan bread to serve
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add potatoes, onions and curry powder and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. (A non-stick pot is easier to cook in as the curry powder won't stick to the pot.)
Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add stock and water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add the beans and peas/mixed veggies and cook for a further 5 minutes. (Add a little more water if the curry gets too thick.)
Prepare roti/naan bread following packet directions and serve with the curry and yoghurt.
Enjoy the meal with a cold and crisp white wine.