Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Braised Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry

We eat a lot of curries at our house. The ones we make are usually quick one pot meals that are perfect for busy weeknights. The more we have them it seems the better we get at making up our own versions. I'm sure they are in no way traditional Indian curries but they have the flavor profile we enjoy.
This my be one of the best curries we've made up recently. It started with the idea of braising some chicken in some leftover coconut milk & using the last of the sweet potatoes. I love using sweet potatoes in curry because their sweetness plays so well with the curry spices. My favorite sweet potato to use is the Jersey Sweet which has a red skin & white flesh. If you think you don't like sweet potatoes but have only had the orange type try one of these white beauties, their flavor will win you over!

One of the best ways to get a really flavorful curry is by making your own spice blend. We used one from the book 660 Curries. This smells (& tastes) 100 times better than any store bought curry powder. I think the addition of cinnamon is my favorite part. We mix up a batch & keep it stored in an airtight container. I will admit it took a trip to Penzeys to get some of the ingredients here, like nigella seeds, but we find now that we have them we use them.

Balti Masala
(from 660 Curries)

2 t fennel seeds
2 t coriander seeds
1 t cumin seeds
1 t mustard seeds
1/2 t whole cloves
1/2 t cardamon seeds
1/2 t nigella seeds
3 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks, broken into smaller pieces
2 t ground cayenne
1/2 t ground nutmeg

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add everything except the cayenne & nutmeg. Toast, shaking the skillet from time to time, until the spices start to turn ash black & the whole thing is really fragrant, 1 - 2 minutes. Remove from the skillet & let cool completely.

Put cool spices into a spice grinder (I use my coffee grinder). Grind until about the consistency of black pepper. Mix in the cayenne & nutmeg.

Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 1/3 c

Braised Chicken & Sweet Potato Curry

1/2 T olive oil
1 small onion, quartered
1 jalapeno, seeded & minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 t balti masala
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 c coconut milk
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 - 2 c peeled, cubed sweet potatoes (about 1-inch pieces)
4 servings hot rice

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion, jalapeno & garlic. Sauté until the onion softens. Stir in the bati masala, tomatoes & coconut milk. Lay the chicken thighs & sweet potatoes in the liquid. Bring to a low boil. Cover, reduce heat & let simmer until the chicken is cooked & the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Salt to taste.

Remove cover & allow to simmer while cooking the rice to thicken slightly.

Serve over hot rice with hot sauce for those who like it spicier & yogurt for those who like it cooler.

Makes 4 servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski


Unknown said...

Hi Kathy, Your curry recipe looks really tasty. I don't make a lot of curry dishes here at the house but this recipe might have to make it to my dinner table soon. Thanks for posting it.

Megan said...

I must say, I dont do much curry but I love all those flavors! I really need to break out the curry!

Barbara Bakes said...

I love a good quick one pot meal. It sounds delicious!

Manisha said...

This sounds really good. I've never made a curry with sweet potatoes and now, i can't wait to try it. You are so right about there not being one particular way to make a curry. I've heard that Indian women prefer to cut their tomatoes right over the pot so that their own distinctive oil on their hands add the extra specialness. I don't make curries that often, but you've got me doing more!

vanillasugarblog said...

do you know that while i do love curry just as much as you, i love to make it just for the smell it leaves in the house for days following.

RJ Flamingo said...

We love to cook and eat Indian food - even if (like you) we make it up ourselves, just for the flavors. This sounds right up our alley!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

Did I miss something? Where are the sweet potatoes in the recipe?

kat said...

Anonymous - You are so right! I left the sweet potatoes out when I was writing it up. Oops! It's all fixed now.

Thistlemoon said...

This looks so fantastic - flavorful and aromatic!

Deborah said...

I need to try this out since my last curry didn't work out!!

Lori said...

We had white sweet potatoes while in Brazil, but haven't seen any around Kentucky. Maybe I should grow my own next year! :) I did get a nice bucket of orange ones from my Dad's garden. I need to try them in curry.

grace said...

curry inexplicably scares me a little bit. i look at that list of spices and i wonder what my problem could be! well done!

Manisha said...

I tried this recipe tonight and it was fantastic! I didn't have the time to toast the spices so I browned them in the olive oil before adding the onion/garlic/jalepeno. I used some ground and some whole. There was so much flavor! I usually make the mistake of adding too little of the masala mix, but tonight was magic. Thanks so much for the recipe. The sweet potatoes were nice bit of sweetness in contrast to the spicy!

Unknown said...

I've made this recipe twice in the past month! Making the curry took a little effort, but it was worth it and enough to last for a few meals. It's delicious and not too spicy.

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T = Tablespoon
t = teaspoon
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