Archive for ‘Curries’

January 24, 2013

“Healthy” Chicken Korma

Or my version of it. Love the creamy nutty flavor of the sauce. And these white sweet potatoes are growing on me. I bought one by accident once and I really like how they are the perfect balance between white potatoes and sweet potatoes. One, they’re healthier than white potatoes… but they also have a denser, drier texture than sweet potatoes. Mushy sweet potatoes are no bueno, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem with its paler cousin.

This was totally a throw together after work kind of meal. Since I made it up as I went, I’ll have to clean up this recipe in the future when I try it again….Curry is hard to mess up though. Creative liberty is encouraged (:



  • 3-4 chicken thighs, yields ~1.5 cups cubed
  • 1 large white sweet potato
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbs curry powder
  • ~3/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup roasted salted pistachios
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • optional: 2 tbs ghee
  • frying oil
  • salt



  1. Preparation: Cut chicken in to 1.5 inch cubes. Cut sweet potato into 1 inch cubes. Grind nuts in a blender to a fine powder.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all spices and half the ground nuts. Add chicken and yogurt. Mix and coat evenly. Set aside and marinate (do this ahead of time if you’d like. I did not marinate longer than 30 min and it was fine.)
  3. In a 3.5qt dutch oven or pot, heat oil over high heat. Add onions, salt generously, and saute until soft and caramelized (~15min or so. Add a dash of chicken stock to speed up the softening processes).
  4. Add chicken and more oil if the pot is dry (or ghee if you have it). Stir often and let chicken brown for 5 min.
  5. Add chicken stock, deglaze bottom of the pan, and let it come to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and the rest of the nut mixture. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 30 min. Optional: add 1-2 tsp corn starch to some cold water, stir to dissolve, and pour into curry to let it thicken.
  6. Add raisins, continue to simmer 10 min or until potatoes are fork tender.
  7. Serve over rice, with naan, or if you’re trying to be healthy like me, over a big bowl of steamed broccoli. (:
February 1, 2012

Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry

Weeknight throw-together meal. Good for lunch for the rest of the week. Lots of fiber! Keeps you full. It’s really a make it up as you go kind of recipe…
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1.5 tbs curry powder
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 sweet potato, diced in small cubes
  • 1.5 cup lentil
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen veggies, roasted

Serve w/ yogurt.


  1. Heat 1 tbs oil in dutch oven/large pot on medium high. Saute onions. Salt and add the spices. Continue sauteing until onions are translucent and very soft.
  2. Add a dash of stock and deglaze pan. Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, broth, and lentils. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 45 min or until sweet potatoes are fork tender and lentils are soft.
  3. Preheat oven t0 400F or set on broiler. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Grease generously with olive oil. Toss in frozen veggies and spread out evenly across pan. Broil until edges just begin to brown.
  4. Stir in veggies.
  5. Top and serve with greek yogurt.
January 9, 2012

Shrimp and Pumpkin Curry

I love pumpkin. Seriously. Love it. How it’s firm yet yielding in texture, how it drinks up the flavors of the stew yet maintains it’s unique sweetness. It’s vibrant color. I could go on.

But I won’t. So here’s another installment of I Have Too Much Crap in My Fridge. Luckily, curries are rather forgiving in terms of mix and matching ingredients. Everything came together quite well.


  • 2 large shallots, sliced thin
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, sliced
  • 2-3 cups green beans
  • 1 lb unshelled shrimp (2 cups?)
  • 1 medium kobacha squash, cut in 2 inch cubes
  • 2 small cans or 1 15oz can coconut milk
  • 2 tbs+ thai yellow curry
  • turmeric (for extra color)
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 splash fish sauce
  • 1.5 tsp fine grain brown sugar (asian supermarkets)
  • 1 15oz can chicken stock
  • 1 large lime
  • parsley/cilantro for garnish
  • garlic salt


  1. Heat 2 tbs+ oil in bottom of dutch oven (or skillet, if you dont mind washing extra pots and pans). When oil is smoking hot, add shallots and fry until golden, crispy, and aromatic. Remove to paper towel and drain. Pour off excess oil from pot.
  2. Add onions and saute until just browned and softened.
  3. Push onions to one side of the pot. Add curry paste and skim off tops of the cans of coconut milk (the thick part that floats to the top of the can). Mix with onions. Add fish sauce, brown sugar, tumeric, ginger, and plenty of garlic salt. Stir to mix evenly.
  4. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Add squash, cover, and cook ~ 15-20 min. (depending on size of cubes)  OPTIONAL: I like to deshell the shrimp and add the shells to the stock. To keep things from getting too messy, place the shells in a little steamer, then place that directly into the soup so that it’s easy to remove later on.
  5. Add green beans. Cover and cook 5 min or until just tender.
  6. Add shrimp. Cover and cook until orange and cooked through. ~2 minutes.
  7. Ladle into serving bowls, squeeze on fresh lime juice, top with fried shallots, and garnish with cilantro/parsley. Serve over rice.

October 15, 2011

Sweet Potato Yellow Curry

The only tricky part of this recipe is knowing when to add your vegetables. Depending on what you use, you have to consider which ingredient to add in which order. It’s not complicated, and it doesn’t have to be exact. Just use your common sense!

Some general guidelines: On a high boil (which you would never do for soups and stews), potatoes cook in about 15-20 minutes. On a simmer, 30-40 minutes. Generally potatoes and starches are added at the beginning. Broccoli takes ~3 min so alway add right before you serve. Any earlier and it will get limp and yellow. Onions and other aromatics (carrots, celery, bell pepper, etc) I always add first because no one wants crunchy onions in a stew/soup/curry, and the longer it simmers the more flavor it imparts to the dish.


  • 1 medium sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 package of tempeh*
  • ~1-2 cups of veggies (I only had broccoli in the fridge…green beans would be nice!)
  • 1 can coconut milk (Chaokoh brand = best)
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • ~3 tbs thai yellow curry paste (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 15oz can of chicken stock/vegetable stock
  • vegetable oil
  • salt

*WestSoy Tempeh Review: Texture is like soft, cooked peanuts. No real flavor (which is good, because it’ll take on whatever flavor you want it to), but it does not stay together very well. Even when raw, it crumbles under slight pressure. meh. I’m still on the search for the best vegetarian protein.


  1. Heat vegetable oil in 3.5qt dutch oven/pot.
  2. Add onions (cut to same size as sweet potato. large squares.) and saute until soft and translucent ~5 min.
  3. Add a tsp or so more oil and mix in curry paste with oil. Stir to coat onions.
  4. Stir in coconut milk, adding soup stock to thin it out if necessary.
  5. Stir in fish sauce, sugar, more curry paste if necessary, and salt to taste.
  6. Stir in sweet potatoes and tempeh and reduce heat to medium.
  7. In ~30min, check to see if potatoes are almost done. It should give under pressure from a fork into a slight crumble. If it breaks in half or breaks into large crumbles, it is too hard and still raw. If your fork sinks into a mealy mush, you waited too long (if this happens, simply take your curry off the stove uncovered, steam/blanch your veggies in a separate pot and add back into the curry.)
  8. Once potatoes are ALMOST done, add broccoli and do NOT mix. Just leave it sitting on top of everything else. Cover pot and steam ~3min.
  9. Mix and serve over rice.
May 9, 2011

Beef Curry Puff Pastries


  • 3/4lb ground meat (i did beef and lamb)
  • 1 medium potato, diced into tiny cubes
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • ~ 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tbs curry powder
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package of puff pastry sheets (I used Pepperidge Farm)
  • 1 egg yolk for wash.


  1. thaw puff pastry sheets at room temperature. unfold and lay flat when soft enough.
  2. heat a bit of oil in dutch oven. cook meat until still slightly pink and mix well, breaking it up as you go. remove from heat and set aside.
  3. in remaining oil/fat, saute minced onions until just soft. add potatoes, raisins, garlic, and seasonings. saute 10-15 min until potatoes are soft and raisins are plump. stir often. if too dry, add a dash of chicken stock.
  4. add cooked meat and stir. add milk, stir until absorbed.
  5. salt to taste.
  6. remove from heat and let it cool in the fridge.
  7.  cut pastry sheets along the fold lines. (should yield 6 long strips)
  8. cut each strip into 4.
  9. grease up an aluminum foil lined baking pan and preheat oven to 400F
  10. spoon ~1-2 tbs curry mixture into the middle of one square. top with another. crimp edges with fork. set on pan and repeat with remaining squares.
  11. brush the middle of each square with egg wash and poke vent holes with a tooth pick.
  12. bake ~15 min or until pastry puffs up and is golden brown.

April 29, 2011

Lamb Korma + Saag Paneer

A very thoughtful friend from school gave me some Pakistani spice mixes for my birthday last year. I’ve been saving them for over six months now, but today, being the last day of finals for the most academically challenging semester of my life, I decided to celebrate with:

You would think after 10+ finals I would take it easy and just follow the damn recipe on the box. But no. I not only did my usual extensive recipe research, I even made my own ghee.

Yea. You heard me. I bought a box of organic unsalted butter and boiled it down to homemade ghee. Friggin’ amazing stuff, this ghee. And what’s equally amazing as GHEE itself? This step by step illustrated how-to: Homemade Indian Ghee. I only used 3 sticks of butter to make mine and 5 minutes in, I started panicking ’cause my butter was already well into step 4.

Lamb Korma: 

  • ~2.5lb lamb stew meat (preferably shoulder cut)
  • 2.5 cups onions, diced
  • ~1 tsp ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 box Shan Korma Curry spice mix
  • 1 large russet potato, diced
  • 1.5 cups greek yogurt
  • ~0.5 cup chicken stock
  1. Ahead of time: marinate lamb stew chunks in some of the spices (the box lists papain as one of the ingredients, which is a protein tenderizer. so why not), and coat evenly with a few dollops of yogurt (yogurt apparently tenderizes meat as well). set aside.
  2. heat a spoonful of ghee in a 5qt dutch oven.
  3. saute onions until caramelized. You want them brown, wilted, and ugly. Not barely golden and pretty. remove from pot and set aside.
  4. add a bit more ghee and on high heat, brown meat evenly on all sides.
  5. add the rest of the spices, some chicken stock, and the onions. liquid should NOT fully cover the  meat. Bring to a low boil, reduce to a simmer, then cover and braise on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  6. add potatoes. continue simmering, 2 hours.
  7. add the rest of the yogurt (if consistency still too thin, incorporate in some corn starch.), mix until heated through, and put in fridge. reheat before serving the next day.
Saag Paneer
  • 1.5 lb frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 onion, minced and caramelized like above
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbs curry powder
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds (i didn’t have lemon. this gives a nice lemony kick)
  • 1/2 lb paneer, cubed.
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

*1/2lb ~ 280 g package. i’m buying my paneer at an indian supermarket in the future. $10 for a 1/2lb package at Whole Foods is ridiculous!

  1. In a 3.5qt dutch oven, heat a spoonful of ghee and fry paneer until slightly browned on all sides. remove and set aside.
  2. caramelize onions in ghee until brown and ugly like above.  add minced garlic. continue sauteing until fragrant.
  3. add thawed spinach and continue cooking until warmed through.
  4. add milk, tomato paste, and spices.
  5. In a large food processor/blender or with a handheld blender, process until almost creamy. reserve some spinach un-processed if you want a chunkier consistency.
  6. cover and simmer 1 hr.
  7. mix in greek yogurt and fried paneer. cover and simmer ~15 min or until heated through.
  8. tastes better reheated the next day.

Serve with Naan or basmati!

February 17, 2011

Chicken Curry Pot Pie

i wonder how many people have this problem: i look in my fridge, find some left over chicken, half a can of diced tomatoes, an opened can of coconut milk that i’ve yet to finish, and think “yea, i can throw this all together and make something of it..” so i start brainstorming recipes and end up with yet another shopping list, buy all the crap on this shoppping list, then have more leftovers than i started out with that i now have to deal with for the rest of the week.

it’s a never ending cycle.

a cycle that perhaps i don’t mind so much continuing.

on a side note, ive been meaning to do something with puff pastry lately. i figured that i might as well throw that in to the mix today. here’s a nice little guide that i found online.

oh and as a suggestion from a classmate of mine (that i recently found out is a fellow foodie), you MUST check out Chef’s Illustrated. i am very tempted to subscribe… my policy has always been to subscribe to fitness magazines only, and if i want to read about food, i have to go online and work to find material. but let’s be honest. i only ever read the recipes section of these fitness magazines anyway.


  • 1/4 can coconut milk
  • ~<1/2 can diced tomatoes
  • ~<1 can chicken broth
  • 1 tbs cornstarch (you want a STEWY not a SOUPY pot pie)
  • 2 large or 3 small boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1-2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 package frozen vegetables ~450g*
  • butter
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 package of puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)

*i used HEB Mediterranean Mix: green beans, carrots, zucchini, red bell pepper, cauliflower…

dont you just want to rip off a corner..? and stuff it into your mouth like a starving chimpanzee?

just kidding. who am i to say chimpanzees dont have proper table manners.


  • preheat oven 400F
  • toss veggies in a bit of vegetable oil and roast in oven until golden brown. ~30 min.
  • coat chicken in 1 tsp curry powder. heat 1 tsp vegetable oil in a 3.5 qt dutch oven. brown chicken evenly on medium high heat. remove and set aside.
  • add a tsp butter and saute onions until just soft ~2-3 min.
  • add 1 tsp more of curry powder, parsley, and ~ 1 tsp salt
  • add tomatoes and half a can of chicken broth. bring to a low boil. reduce heat to simmer.
  • in a separate bowl, dissolve corn starch in 2-3 tbs cold chicken broth. introduce into pot.
  • add chicken, veggies, and coconut milk. simmer until soup thickens. ~10 min. (i always try to add coconut milk last. dont want it to overheat and curdle, especially if i’m using frozen left over coconut milk.)
  • salt to taste.
  • spoon into baking vessel (be it large ramekins, deep 9 inch pie dish, etc. i used a meatloaf pyrex pan. thank you, Denise!)
  • as per packaging instructions*, apply egg wash and crimp down puff pastry over baking dish. bake on 375F ~ 30 min or until golden brown.

*according to pepperridge farm, thaw the puff pastry for 40min. (i kept it in the fridge for an hour or two. houston is too hot and humid for counter thawing. remember that it’s the frozen chunks of butter melting and steaming that cause the pastry to puff up when baked. you dont want that butter melting before it goes into the oven). add a dab of water to creases and with a rolling pin over a lightly floured surface, smooth them out. then top baking vessel with pastry and crimp down edges. apply a optional egg+water wash on the top side for a nice browning effect, then bake. make sure to rotate periodically if your oven convection isn’t so great. like mine. also, i found that too high of a temp browned the pastry too soon. before it had time to rise completely. so avoid 400F…

January 6, 2011

Shrimp and Peanut Red Curry

first day in clinic today. huzzah.  exhausted. and still jet lagged. so after a long day and a crappy, rainy, traffic-y drive home,  i sought solace in the only way i knew how. after a three week long hiatus from the kitchen, i re-entered my sanctuary, apron donned and butcher knife in hand, and made dinner.

probably not the most creative concoction i’ve made. but my fall back im-hungry-and-want-to-eat-now-but-refuse-to-eat-out-of-a-box meal seems to be curry.

I considered garnishing with cilantro. if only for that pop of color. but this was simply a quick weeknight meal at home. and i do not like cilantro. so aesthetics be damned.

two essential ingredients:

  1. peanut butter – compliments the coconut milk and adds a touch of sweetness to contrast the spiciness
  2. lime  – acidity cuts the heaviness of the rest of the dish

here goes!


  • 1/2 lb shrimp, shells on
  • 1 medium small potato, cubed
  • 1 medium small onion, large dice
  • 2 heaping tbs red curry paste
  • 1 tbs peanut butter
  • 1 14oz can coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1 lime


  1. make rice. (wash and soak rice for at least 30 min before cooking.)
  2. dice potatoes into medium sized cubes and dice onions to a similar size.
  3. heat coconut milk in dutch oven on medium low heat. bring to a simmer.
  4. add curry paste and peanut butter and stir slowly until evenly homogenized.
  5. dissolve corn starch in a small bowl with some water or chicken broth, incorporate into curry.
  6. turn heat up to a low boil, add potatoes. cover and cook potatoes until no longer crunchy but still firm (your fork should be met with some resistance).  at no point should a rolling boil develop. ~15 min, depending on level of simmer. just fork test it!
  7. add diced onions. cover and simmer ~10 min until just softened.
  8. bring heat up to medium low boil. add shrimp. cover and cook 5-10 min until no longer translucent.
  9. adjust taste. some salt will probably be necessary. if too spicy and or salty, add more peanut butter. if too thick, dilute with water.
  10. optional:  remove shells from shrimp before serving. if you have a cheese cloth, i’d remove shells at the beginning, wrap them in cloth and toss the bundle into the pot before you add potatoes, then remove just before serving.
  11. squeeze in juice of one lime.
  12. remove from heat and serve with rice and extra lime wedges

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November 10, 2010

Massaman Curry!


  • 1lb beef, chuck
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1 large japanese yam*
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 5+ tbs massaman curry paste (Mae Ploy)
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1-2 tbs fish sauce
  • 2-3 tbs brown sugar
  • 3-5 pods cardamom
  • 1 clove
  • 0.5-1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 cups beef broth

*can substitute with white potatoes (don’t use russet! will fall apart on you.) Japanese yams are not the same as Ube! They have a deep purple skin and a creamy white center. I like the subtle sweetness of the flesh and find it compliments the cinnamon/clove mixture well. these seem to cook faster than regular potatoes, so keep that in mind when substituting!


  1. preheat oven ~230F
  2. dice yams and onions into large cubes/squares. (matching the cuts of beef.)
  3. heat dutch oven, med/high. add a few tbs of vegetable oil and brown chuck on all sides. remove from pot into separate bowl.
  4. reduce heat to medium and add coconut milk (don’t want the heat too high or milk will curdle). add curry paste and mix constantly until homogenized. 2-3 minutes.
  5. return meat to pot, along with peanuts and enough broth to completely submerge the beef. keep in mind that you need enough liquid for the potatoes and onions later.
  6. add fish sauce, and other spices (i ground the cloves and cardamom in my spice grinder to a fine powder. i am way too lazy to empty out the seeds first…). tip: put spices in a small bowl, then introduce a few tbs of warm broth from the pot and dissolve until no lumps. then mix slowly back into pot.
  7. slide pot into oven, covered, for 2 hours.
  8. check: adjust to taste. too sour? add more sugar. too sweet? add more fish sauce or curry paste. etc. add more broth/water if running dry (i actually just filled the coconut milk cans with water and added that).
  9. meat by now should be at or just past the “tough” stage. a few more hours and it’ll reabsorb the moisture and get melt-in-your-mouth tender.
  10. add potatoes and onions.
  11. return to oven, covered, for another hour or two.
  12. you really cant over cook it. reheating it several times for leftovers is no problem. (:

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November 8, 2010

Chana Masala w Cucumber Mint Raita

I actually made this a couple weeks ago and forgot what exactly i put in here… my bad. (Although smittenkitchen has a great recipe!)

A few notes:

  • canned chickpeas tend to get mushy on you. adjust cooking times accordingly.
  • lemon substitute for amchoor powder works wonderfully. thank you, smittenkitchen.
  • lots of cumin!
  • i use roma tomatoes for all stew-like recipes. less acidity.

Cucumber Mint Raita

This I do remember. And you will too! It’s super easy


  • 1-2 cups greek yogurt (Fage, plain)
  • half a cucumber, diced into small cubes
  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • ~ 1 tsp cumin
  • ~ tsp paprika
  • salt
  • 1/2 lime, juiced.


  1. mix and chill.

that’s it! a wonderfully cool and refreshing accompaniment to a spicy chana masala. get some store bought garlic naan, and dinner is served.