Winter calls for warming dishes that soothe the soul, and soups and stews seem the obvious candidates for that. And while I really love these hearty dishes, sometimes a little extra kick in the flavor department is called for. Luckily, I know an excellent spice shop in Kreuzberg that got me fully equipped for a delightful culinary escape from the cold Berlin season into the realms of Indian cooking.
Ingredients (serves 2 to 3):
- 2 chicken breasts (without skin), cut into medium to large cubes
- 1 heaped teaspoon of tandoori spice mix
- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- 3 tablespoons of ghee (alternatively, use concentrated butter)
- ca. 20 (dried) curry leaves
- 6 cardamon capsules, slightly pressed with the back side of a spoon
- 2 teaspoons of ground turmeric (or ca. 30 grams of fresh turmeric rhizome, peeled and cut into thin slices)
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground galangal (or ca. 25 grams of fresh galangal rhizome, peeled and cut into thin slices)
- ca. 50 grams of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin slices
- 4 shallots, peeled and quartered
- 1 carrot, peeled, halved and cut into thin slices
- 1/2 sweet potato, peeled and cut into medium to large cubes
- 2 to 3 red bird’s eye chilis, seeds removes and thinly sliced (depending on how spicy you like your curry, add more or less)
- 2 yellow Thai eggplants, quartered
- 2 white Thai eggplants, quartered
- ca. 12 to 20 pea eggplants
- 4 okra pods, halved
- 2 Roma tomatoes, skinned, seeds removed and cut into small dices
- 400 ml of chicken stock
- 200 grams of coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon of garam masala
- 2 teaspoons of tamarind paste
- Side: naan bread (for a recipe see: Naan Bread)
- Mix the chicken with the tandoori spice mix and the salt. Set aside.
- Prepare all of the ingredients as described above and keep ready for use.
- In a large wok, heat up 2 tablespoons of the ghee over medium to high heat. Add the curry leaves and cardamon capsules and fry for approximately 2 minutes. Add the turmeric, galangal and ginger and fry for another 2 minutes.
- Add the shallots. Let fry until they pick up some color. The add the carrot, the sweet potatoe and the chili.
- Add approximately 1/5 of the chicken stock. Let reduce a bit.
- Add the eggplants. Add another 1/5 of the chicken stock, let reduce and add the okra. Add a further 1/5 of the chicken stock, let reduce again.
- In the meantime, heat up the remaining tablespoon of ghee in another wok or non-stick frying pan on medium to high heat and fry the chicken until nicely browned.
- Finally, add the tomatoes to the curry as well as the remaining chicken stock and the coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then reduce and let simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken, season to taste with the garam masala and the tamarind paste, and serve hot with plenty of fresh warm naan bread (for a recipe see: Naan Bread.