The best recipes are the ones you take a risk on and they pay off big time. A CSA farm share can bring an abundance of produce. As I’ve said before, sometimes, you’re like, ” what? more kale, more mizuna…” A food processor can be your best friend. I showed you last week my recipe for APP bitter green pesto. I use it in pastas and ground turkey etc. But in chicken curry? Yep.
Most people have had some exposure to Indian foods but usually it’s the typical chicken tikka masala that’s loaded in cream and butter and not very nutritious, although very delicious. Indian food is so diverse. It’s like if you only had southern food(fried chicken, collard greens, mac and cheese) and you thought that is what American food is. There’s so much to American cuisine. Similarly, there are so many great dishes that come out of India but most people don’t have the opportunity to try them.
A traditional northern Indian curry is called Haryali chicken. Hari means green in Hindi. The green comes from mint and coriander which adds so much depth of flavor and aromas to the dish that my mouth is watering, just writing about it. My version of Haryali chicken is just as deep in flavor but packs a nutritious punch. My husband who is always suspicious of “new” types of chicken curry, adores this healthy delicious version(bitter greens are used but this curry is far from bitter). A must try!
1/2 cup of APP bitter green pesto
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves/1 long garlic scape
2 inches of ginger( finely chopped/grated)
2 chili peppers( optional)
5 -6 curry leaves
1 tomato( chopped) or Cento double concentrated organic tomato paste (1 tbsp)
EVOO/coconut oil -3 tbsp
1 pasture raised whole chicken- cut into small pieces( typical in Indian curries, approx 4 inch pieces)
- In a heavy bottomed pan, saute chopped onions, garlic and ginger in oil.
- Add sprinkle of salt to help with browning.
- As the mixture begins to soften, add curry leaves and chili peppers stir to saute.
- Add 1-2 tsp of salt( to taste). 1/2 tsp of turmeric, 2 tsp of coriander powder, 2 tsp of chili powder.(The chili powder’s heat depends on the type of chili used to make the powder. If you know you can tolerate/enjoy heat,then go ahead. If you know you can’t, then add just a pinch or so for color or just add some paprika which adds color and smoky flavor with less heat).
- When the onion mixture is cooked down and spices are roasted well, add tomato(paste). Stir well.
- Once that mixture is cooked down, add chicken. Stir and saute and mix well. Close with lid and let cook for the next 10 minutes.
- I have found whole chicken to have the most flavor. The bones give the curry just what it needs. I find that pasture-raised meat not only tastes better but also cooks faster.
- After 15 minutes, lift the lid, stir and add 1/2 cup of the APP pesto. Add more as you wish. Adding mint leaves and coriander leaves to this pesto add so much flavor. If I have those herbs at home, I use. If not, it tastes great without.
- Add 1 tbsp of garam masala. Garam masala means warm mixture. That’s what it is, roasted whole spices that are then ground up. I make my own but there are many that are great that are store bought. There are many great brands, but this is one I have used before. If you don’t make Indian food as often as I do, then store bought makes more sense, but the flavor of home roasted spices is incomparable. ( will post my recipe for homemade garam masala later.)
- Stir and let cook with the pesto and garam masala with lid on on medium heat for another 10 minutes or so.
- Enjoy this thick luscious, healthy, green( haryali) chicken curry with rice, quinoa, chapati/nan. YUM!
- A great vegan/vegetarian option to this that I have tried is to add this pesto to chickpeas. It packs a punch and contains no meat.