Have you ever paged through a cookbook and come across something so interestingly different that you felt the need to make it? This happened to me the other day. I was going through some of my older cookbooks (some of which I had never tried anything from) and as I paged through Jewish Cooking by Marlena Spieler I saw it. There on page 145 sat what was simply called Mild Green Calcutta Curry of Chicken and Vegetables. Now, I stared at the image and read the ingredients three times. There are more fruits than veggies in this dish, yet that is the name. I had to make it. I needed to know if this was as awesome as it looked.
I have copied down the recipe for you to go ahead and give it a try (it’s not exactly the same as many things were “pinch of this” and “bunch of that”)… the book is filled with recipes like this (as in, things that you don’t instantly think of as “Jewish” food). Unfortunately I only took a photo of the completed dish, but I don’t think you’d need to many pictures of it cooking to replicate it. If you’re wondering, the garnish is a sprig of peppermint and a piece of Hyssop I got from my CSA (I used it with the mint as it has a slightly minty flavor).
Now, don’t be worried, I think the fruit works well in this dish, although I must be truthful and tell you that Jess thought it was horrible and never wants to see fruit in a savory dish again. So, are you prepared to go on an adventure?
- 4 Garlic Cloves (chopped)
- 1 Tbs Ginger root (chopped)
- 2 – 3 Red Jalepeno/Freson Peppers (seeded and chopped)
- 1 c Fresh Cilantro (chopped)
- 1 Yellow Onion (chopped)
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Green (or normal) Curry powder
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Cloves
- 1/2 tsp Coriander
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Dash of Pepper
- 3 Chicken Breasts/Thighs (boneless, skinless, cubed bitesize)
- 2 Tbs Safflower/Canola/Vegetable Oil
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 c Chicken Stock
- 1 c Coconut Milk
- 1.5 Tbs Sugar
- 1 Large (2 Small) Bananas (peeled and chopped)
- 1/4 Pineapple (peeled and chopped)
- 1/4 c Golden Raisins
- 1/4 c Currants or Raisins
- 2 – 3 Mint Sprigs
- Juice of 1/4 to 1/2 Lemon (to taste)
- Salt (to taste)
- Pepper (to taste)
- A few cups of prepared rice (I like brown basmati)
The dish is pretty simple… here we go:
- Puree all of the ingredients listed under “spice mixture” together into a paste using a food processor. Set that aside for a minute.
- Toss 2 Tbs of the above spice mix with the cubed chicken and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan/wok over medium heat. Add all the remaining spice mix and heat for about 10 minutes (while stirring) until it thickens and turns brownish (don’t let it burn).
- Add stock, coconut milk, sugar and two cinnamon sticks. Turn the heat up until the mixture comes to a boil. Stir and reduce the heat until it is at a slow simmer. Cook for 10 more minutes.
- Stir in your chicken mixture. Cook this for about 2 – 3 minutes (or until the chicken is opaque and cooked through).
- Stir in all the fruit into the curry and cook for another 1 – 2 minutes.
- Stir in the mint and extra lemon (if needed, taste, taste, taste). Add salt and more spices if needed.
- Serve immediately over rice and enjoy.
It is a very unique dish with a very interesting flavor. Give it a shot if you feel experimental… can’t hurt!