Happy Curry Shop and a Chicken Curry Dish

April 15th, 2011

OK, when I was growing up, Mom would use grocery-store yellow curry powder in some dishes, and I really didn’t like the smell or taste of them. Occasionally, a restaurant will have a curry dish on the menu, and I get that same smell if I pass by a dish.

One evening at wine.woot.com , there was an offer of 4 spice blends from Mohini Indian Fusions, and knowing Norm’s penchant for spices and curries, I decided that I could live with the smell and bought them. I’ve smelled every one of them dry in the jars, and do not get a single whiff of that smell that I associate with curry. So I looked up recipes for yellow curry and found that fenugreek plays a pretty heavy role in the powder, but the Mohini blends list it last. I used the tandoori blend on sweet potato fries, and when the blend was dampened by the oil, I got the faintest whiff of fenugreek. I smelled it alone in the spice aisle, and it’s definitely the offending seasoning.

So, I read about Happy Curry in the paper, and it’s on the way home from my Chiropractor’s office in Keizer, so I had to stop by. After carefully reading labels, I picked up a couple of boxed blend for different foods, a box of garam masala, some “healing incense”, light coconut milk and a spicy snack mix called Hara Chiwda. An older gentleman explained that they also had frozen foods and took me to the back area where there were two household-type upright freezers. He pulled a tub out of one, and since I had already explained my aversion to fenugreek. I chose a tub of yellow curry paste, which is actually orange-ish and a little over a pound of frozen paneer. I was ready to roll!

So Norm sauteed his veggies in a separate pan, while boiling water for rotini pasta. In my cast iron skillet, I sauteed some garlic in peanut oil and a dollop of butter. I emptied a drained package of white chicken chunks (I know, but we didn’t have any “real” chicken on hand) and cooked until heated through. I added a heaping soup spoon of the curry paste which had thawed and mixed well. Then I poured in about ½ C of coconut milk and stirred until all was combined and hot throughout. I mixed mine with pasta, Norm did the same but with his veggies. I was absolutely thrilled with the flavor of the dish!

The gentleman at the shop described using paneer in curries, and it sounded very much like using firm tofu – sautee in oil, remove and set aside, cook veggies and sauce and add the cubes of paneer just to reheat through and serve.

We also picked up a couple of packages of chicken thighs today to experiment with.

This is going to be a very exciting journey of not-so-authentic, but definitely tasty curries!


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