[It seems without trying that I loosely follow a tradition to post a recipe on Sundays, often of something I cooked the night before while listening to Garrison Keillor. Today is no different. It's Sunday now but I am going to schedule this to publish tomorrow because I've already posted twice today and you're tired of listening to me.]
I've hit upon the following curry recipe, refining and revising it over the past year. Morgann likes it a lot and so do I, and as the only two "curryheads" in the house it is a fairly frequent entry in our Saturday night menu rotation when Les is at work and the kids at their father's or grandparents. I would say this dish is a blend of influences, mostly Indian and Thai, and not strictly "authentic". It is good, though.
- 1-1½ lbs meat (sirloin steak, lamb or boneless and skinless chicken breasts all work well) cut into ½"-1" cubes, salted and peppered
- 1 onion, diced fine
- 8-10 fresh garlic cloves, diced
- 1 fresh bell pepper (red is good), diced
- 2-3 fresh jalapeños, seeded and diced fine or cut in long thin slivers (or dice another fresh bell pepper if you don't want it as spicy, although this dish isn't that hot!)
- 1 stalk fresh celery, minced (save the leaves, chop them and put aside)
- 1 15 oz can coconut milk
- 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
- 2-3 tbs peanut butter (really - it's part of what makes the flavor of this dish)
- 2-4 tbs curry powder (I use lots)
- 3 oz tomato paste (half a small can or equivalent if you use tomato paste from a tube)
- 4-5 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Serve with any mix of one to three of the following. Let each person add their own at the table. The top three are what we had last night, but I've used all the garnishes listed here at one time or another. If you make the curry without the jalapeños in it then the hotheads in your house will want at least one of the hot chili garnishes below to kick it up a notch.
- Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Toasted onion flakes
- Thinly sliced fresh jalapeños
- Chopped peanuts
- Chopped fresh mint leaves
- Chopped fresh basil leaves
- Minced fresh hot chilis
- Dried chili pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 350°. Get out your trusty enameled Dutch oven. Heat the olive oil in it over medium high heat and then sauté the onions and garlic until they start to brown (I let mine get really, really brown). Put in the meat and continue sautéing until all the sides are cooked a bit, then add the peppers and celery and cook for about another five minutes. Remove from heat. Pour in the coconut milk and garbanzo beans, stir in the peanut butter, tomato paste, celery leaves and curry, mixing it all together well. Salt to taste. If it looks a bit thick add some cream or a bit more olive oil. Cover and bake for an hour. Serve with rice. Feeds two with leftovers, would easily feed four.