Braised Chicken in White Sauce with Garam Masala
- 3 medium red onions, quartered
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick
- 12 green cardamom pods, pounded in a mortar and pestle just to break open the shells
- 16 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 5 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon white or black peppercorns
- 3 whole, dried red chilies
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 cup plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2- by 1-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (page 000)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus extra for drizzling
- Combine the onions, garlic, and ginger in a food processor and process to finely mince; set aside.
- Combine the oil, cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves, cumin, coriander seeds, bay leaves, peppercorns, and dried red chilies in a large, heavy bottomed casserole over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the cinnamon unfurls and the spices brown lightly, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the minced onion mixture and the salt and cook, stirring, until the onions turn a uniformly light brown color, about 15 minutes. Keep a cup of water beside the stove while the onion cooks. As the caramelized sugars begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, dribble in water, about 1 teaspoon at a time, and scrape the pan with the spoon to pull up all the sugars and keep them from burning. Do this as often as necessary until the onion is golden.
- Add the ground coriander and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
- Add about 3 tablespoons of the yogurt and cook, stirring, until the yogurt is entirely blended and the moisture evaporated. Continue adding the yogurt, about 3 tablespoons at a time and cooking out the moisture after each addition, to use all of the yogurt.
- Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until opaque, about 5 minutes.
- Add the water and stir. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Cover and simmer gently (the onion mixture will be very thick) until the chicken is just cooked through, about 5 more minutes.
- Stir in the garam masala and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.
- Stir in the heavy cream and remove from the heat. Let the kurma rest for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to infuse the sauce. When you are ready to serve, heat the kurma through over low heat and then drizzle with a little heavy cream. Taste for salt and serve hot.
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Shrimp and Sweet Corn Curry
For the herb paste
- 40 fresh or 60 frozen curry leaves
- 3-inch/7.5-cm piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp frozen ground lemongrass paste (optional)
- 1 bunch cilantro/fresh coriander, leafy part and tender stems ripped off of the tough stems
- 1 jalapeño or serrano chile, stemmed, and seeded for less heat
For the curry
- 3 tbsp ml canola oil
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
- 15 fresh or 22 frozen curry leaves, roughly chopped
- 3 dried red chiles
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/8 tsp asafetida
- Two 13 1/2-oz/385-g cans coconut milk
- 1/2 cup/120 ml heavy/double cream, half-and-half/half cream, or milk
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 4 cups/615 g fresh corn (from 4 to 6 ears) or frozen corn
- 2 lbs/910 g tiger shrimp/prawns (16 to 20 shrimp/prawns per pound), peeled and deveined
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro/fresh coriander
- To make the herb paste, place the curry leaves, ginger, lemongrass paste (if using), cilantro/fresh coriander, jalapeño or serrano, and 3 tbsp water in the bowl of a food processor and purée into a nearly smooth paste. Set aside.
- To make the curry, heat the oil, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cumin browns and becomes fragrant and the mustard seeds pop, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the curry leaves, chiles, turmeric, and asafetida, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Then stir in the herb paste, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the mixture is very fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour in the coconut milk and the cream, stir, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the salt and then add the corn and shrimp/prawns. Simmer until the shrimp/prawns curl and are just cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cilantro/fresh coriander and serve with rice or crusty bread.
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Farro and Mushroom Burgers
- 3/4 cup/125 g farro
- 1 lb/455 g red potatoes (about 3)
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 6 tbsp/85 g unsalted butter
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb/455 g brown mushroom caps, finely chopped
- 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 5 to 8 tbsp/75 to 120 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp dry white wine, dry vermouth, or water
- 1/2 cup/50 g finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 cup/50 g panko bread crumbs
- Bring 2 1/4 cups/540 ml water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the farro, return to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low, cooking until the farro is tender, about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, fluff the farro with a fork, cover, and set aside.
- While the farro cooks, boil the potatoes. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, add the potatoes, return the water to a boil, and cook until a paring knife easily slips into the center of the largest potato, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. Once the potatoes are cool, peel them and place them in a large bowl.
- Remove the needles and leaves from the rosemary and thyme branches, and place them in a large frying pan along with the butter and black pepper over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the herbs start cracking, after about 1 1/2 minutes, add the mushrooms and salt. Cook the mushrooms until they release their liquid and the pan is dry again, 6 to 7 minutes, stirring often. Transfer the mushrooms to the bowl with the potatoes and set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil over medium-high heat in the frying pan. Add the shallots and cook until they are soft and just starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the wine (or vermouth or water) and stir to work in any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat and scrape the shallots into the bowl with the mushrooms and potatoes. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano along with the farro. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the ingredients together.
- Form the mixture into 10 patties. Place the panko in a shallow dish and press the top and bottom of each patty into the panko to evenly coat. Heat 1/4 cup/60 ml olive oil in a clean large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 5 patties and cook on each side until nicely browned and crusty, 8 to 10 minutes total. Remove the patties from the frying pan and place them on a plate. Repeat with the remaining patties, adding more oil between batches if necessary. Serve hot.
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