Thai Red Curry

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One of the most popular Thai dishes which is really easy and quick to make. Spicy, healthy and light, it’s very rare that a dish fits in well in all these three categories which is what makes it so popular. So here you go:-

Serves – 4

Ingredients:

  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Red Curry Paste – 2-3 tbsp (you can follow this recipe to make it at home)
  • Coconut Milk – 1 can (14oz/400ml each)
  • Thai Chilies – 2 finely chopped
  • Brown Sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Soy Sauce or Fish Sauce – 1 tbsp
  • Baby corn-1/2 cup
  • Red Bell Pepper – 1/4, sliced
  • Green Bell Pepper – 1/2, sliced
  • Mushrooms – 1/4 cup
  • Broccoli –  1/2 cup
  • Tofu or Chicken Breasts- 1/2 cup
  • lemon grass -1 stalk finely chopped
  • Green Onions – 5 stalks finely chopped
  • Garlic Cloves – 3-4 minced
  • Basil Leaves – 1 bunch and some extra for garnishing

Method:

  1. In a pan, heat the oil. Once hot, add garlic and chilies and sauté for a few seconds. Add in the red curry paste and mix well.
  2. Add the coconut milk and mix again. Then add in the sugar, soy sauce or fish sauce.
  3. If you are making a non-vegetarian dish, then add the chicken now, cover and allow chicken to cook partially.
  4. If you are making it a vegetarian dish, skip steps 3 and add the vegetables to the gravy. Add baby corn, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, lemon grass and mushrooms. (Leave broccoli at this stage.)
  5. Let it cook for a minutes and then add tofu.
  6. Add the basil leaves and cook for another 3-5 minutes. And then add broccoli.
  7. Cook till chicken / tofu is cooked.
  8. Garnish with a few more Thai Basil Leaves and serve hot with some steamed rice.
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Spicy Masala Chicken Curry (Dhabe wala Chicken)

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Another one of my absolute favorites-Spicy Masala Chicken curry or Dhabe wala Chicken(as I prefer to call it). This amazing Indian Curry dish is spicy, full of flavor, has rich thick gravy and is mouthwateringly aromatic. Even though I’m always in favor of healthier and seemingly less fatty alternatives but there are certain dishes where I just don’t compromise on flavor and stick to its true original recipe and this dish is definitely one of those. So here is the recipe –

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
  • 1.5 lb chicken thighs or 3 lb chicken legs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated peeled ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • teaspoon kashmiri lal mirch or red chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4-5 cups water or chicken broth(for more flavorful results)
  • cup canned tomato purée
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 small potatoes-quartered
  • Plain yogurt, torn fresh mint, and naan, flatbread, or cooked rice (for serving)

METHOD

  • Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat.
  • Add onion, garlic, and ginger to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Add tomato puree, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, coriander, red chili, salt, pepper and cardamom and cook, stirring often, until tomato puree is beginning to darken, about 5-6minutes.
  • Add broth or water and cream to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and add the chicken. Simmer, partially covered, skimming occasionally, until chicken is almost done and liquid is slightly thickened, approximately 1hr.
  • Add potatoes to the pan and cook, partially covered, until potatoes are fork-tender, chicken is fully cooked, and liquid is thick enough to coat a spoon.
  • Top with yogurt and mint, and serve with naan, flatbread, or rice.

(For best result, if you are using leg pieces you should saute the chicken for 7-8 mins in a separate pan before adding to the broth.)

KASHMIRI KOFTE (MEATBALLS)

DSC_6684 Kashmiri kofte…One of my all time favortite dishes, I used to bug my dad every other day to make it for me. He makes it from scratch including the meat balls. I’ve made the mine quite simple by using readymade meatballs, which are very easily available here in the US. I was quite skeptical in using them as I didn’t want to compromise the flavor of the dish but it turned out to be even better and tastier with them (though obviously not as good as my dad’s). You can try making the meat balls too…but when you already have a delicious alternative, I would say use it as it saves a LOT of time. So here is my dad’s secret recipe which am about to share with you, here it goes:

Ingredients:

  • 8-12 meat balls
  • pinch of asafetida(hing)
  • 1-tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 2-tbsp greek yogurt
  • 1-tsp ginger paste
  • 6-7 cashews
  • 1-1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1-tsp ground fennel
  • 2-tsp kashmiri lal mirch (red chili powder)
  • salt to taste
  • 4-5 cups water

Method:

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed pan. In a small bowl, take around 2tsp water and dissolve hing and red chili in it. Add this mix to the oil and let it saute for a minute on medium heat.
  2. Add the ginger paste and yogurt and let it cook till the oil separates. In the meanwhile make a paste of the cashews in the mixer by adding very little water.
  3. Add the cashew paste to the pan and then add garam masala and salt. (Add salt carefully since the meatballs are already salted)
  4. When the mix starts turning brown, add meat balls and water and let it cook.
  5. Once the meatballs are slightly cooked add ground fennel and let the gravy simmer for 7-8 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 mins.
  7. Serve hot with rice.

(NOTE: Please use Kashmiri Lal mirch only, otherwise you wouldn’t get the right flavor and the color.) The magic of this recipe is that it has very few ingredients, but it still bursts with flavor.