Lately the buzz all over the culinary world is about Indian food, specifically, why it is so delicious.
“Now, in a study of more than 2,000 recipes, scientists have discovered the secret behind curry’s popularity on a molecular level. They claim that unlike Western dishes that tend to pair similar flavours together – such as beer and beef – Indian dishes use at least seven ingredients that do not contain overlapping flavours.” – The Guardian
We are often reminded how lucky we are to live in such a diverse city. At any given time we can eat a cuisine from anywhere in the world. If you wanted to have a pan of shakshuka for breakfast, ramen for lunch and Mongolian hot pot for dinner, it could be accomplished with a minimum of fuss in this town. Think about all the foods you get to try when the craving strikes, foods that people living in small town Alberta or rural New Brunswick might never have even tried. Things like Ethiopian injera bread, fresh tofu, veggie pakoras, Portugese egg tarts, miso soup, gulab jamin, Turkish böreck…the list could go on forever! And all those things are here right at our fingertips.
And then there is the plethora of wonderful Indian restaurants and take outs that we can take advantage of regularly. We have access to samosas, vindaloo, rogan josh, saag paneer, daal and tandoori chicken whenever the mood strikes. While we wait for CurryFest, here is a favourite recipe to bring Indian cuisine home and get you creating it in your own kitchen.
Cardamom Chicken Curry
1½ cups plain yogurt, plus more for garnish
1½ tsp. Kashmiri chile powder
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
12 pods green cardamom, crushed
2 lbs. skinless bone-in chicken thighs and legs
¼ cup canola oil
8 whole black peppercorns
3 pods black cardamom
1 (2″) stick cinnamon
2 small yellow onions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 (1″) piece ginger, peeled and minced, plus more julienned for garnish
3 tbsp. roughly chopped cilantro, for garnish
4 cups cooked rice, for serving
1. Combine yogurt, chile powder, turmeric, salt, and 8 pods green cardamom in a large bowl; add chicken, mix, and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
2. Heat oil in a 6-qt. pot over high heat. Add remaining green cardamom along with peppercorns, black cardamom, and cinnamon; cook until fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Add onions, garlic, chiles, and ginger; cook, stirring and adding a few tablespoons of water as needed, until onions are browned, 12–15 minutes. Add chicken and marinade; cook, flipping chicken occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated, 20–30 minutes. Add ⅓ cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring, until sauce has thickened, 6–8 minutes. Season with salt and garnish with ginger, cilantro, and yogurt; serve with rice.