Chicken Curry in a Hurry

Indian food is among the tastiest in the world, yet the only time many people eat it is when they go to an ethnic restaurant.

Probably the two biggest reasons people give for not wanting to make Indian food is that it’s too complicated or too time-consuming. Well, the folks at New Asian Cuisine (www.newasiancuisine.com) say it doesn’t have to be that way.

A recent email from them offered up several recipes, including the following for chicken curry, which can be on the table in 20 minutes but still uses fresh ingredients for an authentic taste. The recipe is contained in Hari Nayak’s “My  Indian Kitchen,” which is available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble Booksellers and Tuttle Publishing for $27.95.

Chicken Curry in a Hurry
1 large onion (about ½ pound), peeled and coarsely chopped
2 fresh green chili peppers, coarsely chopped
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 tablespoons oil
1¼ to 1½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs and/or breasts, cubed
1 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 cup water
4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
Place the onion, green chili peppers, turmeric, garlic, ginger, and cumin seeds in a blender and process, adding a few tablespoons of water to make a smooth thick paste.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and salt and fry, stirring frequently, for 7 to 10 minutes, or until golden. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
To same pan you used to cook the chicken, add the spice paste and fry over low heat for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the chicken, tomato paste, garam masala and cook gently, stirring well, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the water, cover the pan, and increase the heat to medium. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt if needed. Sprinkle with the fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.
Yield: Serves 4.

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