A bowl of creamy, spicy and aromatic yellow curry is always very popular around the house. There are many ways to customize it and it always tastes delicious.
A bowl of a good curry is one of my favorite things to eat. Creamy, rich with a bit of heat and a touch of sweetness, it usually hits the spot. I have been making this dish for a long time now and everyone always loves it. I like the fruity tones coming from pineapple chunks, dry currants (kinda crazy, I know!) and sometimes I even add a handful of coconut flakes.
I usually make it with boneless chicken tights and it also tastes great with cubed chicken breasts or bone-in chicken tights. If using bone-in chicken tights remove and discard the skin. For vegetarian version, skip the chicken and use tofu or canned chickpeas.
To “wake up” the spices cook them in a bit of coconut oil for a minute or two until they become fragrant. This process is called “blooming”. Using a good quality yellow curry paste (like Mae Ploy) will give you similar results. Curry powder is a mix of several different spices, like cumin, fenugreek, coriander seeds, cardamom, red chili peppers, cinnamon, ginger and turmeric. The kind and amount of these spices used to create a curry powder varies depending on the region. Garam Masala is a curry spice mix from Northern India, often called Punjabi, created by mixing cardamom, coriander and black pepper as the three main ingredients in addition to other spices.
Red curry paste is typically a mixture of dried red chiles, garlic, shallot, lemongrass, salt, galangal (Thai ginger), shrimp paste, and kaffir lime peel.
Green curry paste often combines green chiles, galangal, cumin, coriander, shallots, garlic, cilantro, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and fish sauce.
When the aroma of spices fill up your kitchen, add chunks of meat and stir well to coat the chicken with spices. After a minute or so add tomato paste, yogurt and coconut milk. Bring everything to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. That is the base for your yellow curry. At that point you can add any additional ingredients:
- chopped potatoes, cauliflower florets and a handful of fresh spinach leaves
- cubed pumpkin or squash, cubed potatoes, sliced carrots, peas
- canned tomatoes (drained a bit), pineapple chunks
- mango and/or pineapple, sliced bell peppers and shrimp (omit the chicken, add the shrimp for the last 5 minutes of cooking)
- make it vegetarian and add chickpeas or tofu instead of chicken to your favorite combination
Here I added 1 can of slightly drained chopped tomatoes and pineapple chunks. If desired, add a handful of dried currants or dried blueberries. I’m not sure how I came to that but we love it that way. Maybe my Pasta with Cauliflower was my inspiration. After adding the ingredients, cover and simmer for about 25-30 minutes. At the end, squeeze in some fresh lime juice, add a pinch of cayenne pepper if you like it hot and more salt or honey if needed.
Serve with brown rice and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro.
Serves: 4-6 Prep time: 30 minutes Ready in: 1hr 15 minutes
- 2-3 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tablespoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2-1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 lbs boneless chicken tights or chicken breasts, cut into smaller pieces
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup of natural yogurt (Greek or goat milk work great)
- 2 (14 oz) cans of light coconut milk
- 1 (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes, slightly drained
- 1/2-1 (14 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained
- 1/4 cup dried blueberries or currants, optional
- 1-2 teaspoons honey
- 1 lime or 1/2 lemon, juiced
- pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Using a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat up the oil and saute the chopped onion till golden. Stir in garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, paprika, grated ginger, bay leaf, sugar and salt. Stir until it becomes fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add chicken pieces and stir until coated with spices.
- Add tomato paste, yogurt, coconut milk and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add chopped tomatoes and pineapple chunks. Cover and simmer 25-30 minutes. If using dried blueberries, add them after 15 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf, pour in the lime juice and add a pinch of cayenne pepper, if using. Simmer for a minute or two.
- Add honey and more salt, if needed. Stir. Serve over rice or some naan.