Stormy Weather Spice Rack – Part Two

It’s a shame that fast food in Corner Brook typically means a stop at McDonald’s or KFC. Thanks to globalization, you’ll likely find these joints in India, but you’ll also find Dhaba’s — roadside stands that sell economical (and equally tasty) curry dishes.

It’s also a shame that Corner Brook has no Indian restaurants — especially on cold, wintery days when you long to be lured out of the grey, mucky streets, and into a saffron-and-cinnamon colored dining room, and tuck into a comforting curry or  succulent Shahi Paneer.

Indian Spices at Chez Moi

One can, however, create Indian colors and cuisine in the comfort of one’s own home. And, (almost) as fast as you can say Colonel-Sanders’, you can have a lovely Dhaba chicken curry — one of many types of curries you’ll find in India’s Punjabi region.

 

What’s more, this recipe uses many of the spices as the Stormy Weather Chai, which can make India seem like it’s just down the way, and that your kitchen is the new Taj Mahal.

The palette of spices in this recipe will cheer you instantly.

Begin with:

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

A Pinch of ground cloves

Pinch of ground cardamom

2 teaspoons turmeric (add more if you like an intense curry flavor, add only 1/4 teaspoon if you’re feeling cautious)

Heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in a dutch oven or deep skillet. Add the spices and cook until they fill your kitchen with a lovely fragrance (about 1 minute or so).

Next, add two large or three medium, diced onions, 2 cloves of garlic (also diced), and some chopped, fresh ginger (select a root that is about 1/2 an inch to 1 inch long).

Use two large onions, or three medium-sized onions

Add Diced Onions, Garlic, and Ginger -- Simmer for 5 Minutes

Cook the onion/spice mixture for about 6 minutes over medium heat. You want the onions to be brown, but not caramelized at this point. Add about one cup of tomato sauce and stir to incorporate. Once the tomato sauce is heated through, taste and correct the seasoning to your liking.

Stir in four boneless, skinless, chopped chicken breasts until they’re nicely coated, then add a cup of water, cover and bring to a boil. Return the mix to a simmer and let it stew for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Dhaba curry, served over Basmati rice

Top the curry with a dash of Garam Masala, and serve over Basmati rice  or serve with naan or pita. (You can find both Garam Masala and Basmati rice –not to mention all the other spices in this recipe — at More for Less in Corner Brook.)

And, just like that, you’ve created your own affordable, aromatic, Indian fast food.

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