Simple Tomato Curry with Chicken

By July 5, 2016

This recipe is an adaptation of an Indian Restaurant favorite, Butter chicken. We've lightened it up a bit, and used mostly local ingredients (did you know ginger is grown widely in Ohio??) Adjust the spice blend to your preference, but this can be an under 30 minute meal and still have leftovers for lunch the next day!

 1.5 tbsp clarified butter (ghee) or coconut oil
 1 cup sliced onion (sliced in half, then half again for 1" long pieces)
 1 tsp salt
 1.5 tbsp freshly grated ginger
 3 garlic cloves, minced
 Spice blend: 3 tsp garam masala, 1-2 tsp cayenne (according to your spicy preferences), 2 tsp freshly ground cumin, 1/2 tsp cardamom, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 garlic powder. (Tip: this blend worked well, but if you don't like a particular spice, swap it out for a curry powder, turmeric, more of another spice you do like.)
 2-3 tsp tomato paste
 2.5 cups tomato sauce (or puréed thawed frozen tomatoes)
 2-3 cups diced **cooked chicken (dark or light meat) (see note in recipe for starting with raw chicken)
 1.5 cups cream or coconut milk
 1-1.5 cups thawed frozen sweet corn
 Serve with cooked spelt berries or rice, and some chopped cilantro leaves
1

Start by heating up your ghee or coconut oil over medium heat. Once melted, add in the onions. Cook for about 10-12 minutes, softening without burning keep an eye on those edges!)

2

Once the onion is softened, add the salt, minced garlic and freshly grated ginger, and stir well. Cook for only about a minute and then add in the spice blend to bloom.

3

Hard spices-- from seeds, nuts, and berries as opposed to leaves or flowers-- do well with a little heat to help their flavors intensify. Stir, cooking for about two minutes, making sure the spices don't burn. Add in the tomato paste, and cook for an additional minute or so.

4

Pour in your tomato sauce and bring to a light boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5-7 minutes for the flavors to incorporate. Next, add in the cooked chicken and the corn.

5

**If your chicken is uncooked, you can start this whole process off, before the onions, by lightly browning the chicken on both sides, removing it and dicing it, and then adding it back into the curry in here. If you're working with raw chicken, up to cooking time here to about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces of chicken.

6

Add in the coconut milk or cream and heat well for a few additional minutes, without bringing back to a boil. Taste and adjust seasoning. If it's too salty or spicy for your tastes, squeeze in some lemon or lime juice to cut the flavor or add more tomato sauce.

7

Serve warm with rice or cooked spelt berries and some chopped cilantro leaves on top.

Tip: Ghee is butter than has been cooked to remove the milk proteins and re-solidified. This allows for a cleaner cook, especially at high temperatures, and is an essential starting place for many Indian dishes. To make your own, check out this article from The Kitchn.

Ingredients

 1.5 tbsp clarified butter (ghee) or coconut oil
 1 cup sliced onion (sliced in half, then half again for 1" long pieces)
 1 tsp salt
 1.5 tbsp freshly grated ginger
 3 garlic cloves, minced
 Spice blend: 3 tsp garam masala, 1-2 tsp cayenne (according to your spicy preferences), 2 tsp freshly ground cumin, 1/2 tsp cardamom, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 garlic powder. (Tip: this blend worked well, but if you don't like a particular spice, swap it out for a curry powder, turmeric, more of another spice you do like.)
 2-3 tsp tomato paste
 2.5 cups tomato sauce (or puréed thawed frozen tomatoes)
 2-3 cups diced **cooked chicken (dark or light meat) (see note in recipe for starting with raw chicken)
 1.5 cups cream or coconut milk
 1-1.5 cups thawed frozen sweet corn
 Serve with cooked spelt berries or rice, and some chopped cilantro leaves

Directions

1

Start by heating up your ghee or coconut oil over medium heat. Once melted, add in the onions. Cook for about 10-12 minutes, softening without burning keep an eye on those edges!)

2

Once the onion is softened, add the salt, minced garlic and freshly grated ginger, and stir well. Cook for only about a minute and then add in the spice blend to bloom.

3

Hard spices-- from seeds, nuts, and berries as opposed to leaves or flowers-- do well with a little heat to help their flavors intensify. Stir, cooking for about two minutes, making sure the spices don't burn. Add in the tomato paste, and cook for an additional minute or so.

4

Pour in your tomato sauce and bring to a light boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5-7 minutes for the flavors to incorporate. Next, add in the cooked chicken and the corn.

5

**If your chicken is uncooked, you can start this whole process off, before the onions, by lightly browning the chicken on both sides, removing it and dicing it, and then adding it back into the curry in here. If you're working with raw chicken, up to cooking time here to about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces of chicken.

6

Add in the coconut milk or cream and heat well for a few additional minutes, without bringing back to a boil. Taste and adjust seasoning. If it's too salty or spicy for your tastes, squeeze in some lemon or lime juice to cut the flavor or add more tomato sauce.

7

Serve warm with rice or cooked spelt berries and some chopped cilantro leaves on top.

Simple Tomato Curry with Chicken

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