The word curry comes from the Tamil word “Kari” meaning sauce. Curry forms the basis of meals in many Asian countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Probably the earliest known curries to be eaten were around 1700 BC in Mesopotamia. Curry was mentioned in the first book written on English cooking during the reign of Richard II in the late 1300’s.
We think that curry is hot and spicy but in India before the time of Christopher Columbus (1451 – 1506) chilli and red peppers (which were not native to India) did not form part of Indian cooking.
In more recent times Mrs Beeton in 1861 included 14 curries in her “Book of Household Management”.
A typical India meal comprises of a curry or two, a bowl of white rice and vegetable dish.
Curries are the staple of Indian cuisine, but making a good curry is not a simple task. Curry is made up of several elements, the balance of which must be just right.
The thermal cooker is ideal for cooking curries the long slow cooking help the flavours to develop. One meal that is especially good is chicken curry. This is eaten all over India and it is probably one of the most popular dishes for non vegetarians in the country.
- 1 kg chicken thighs and legs (cleaned and skinned)
- 2 tbsp groundnut oil
- 2 onions, sliced
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 cardamoms
- 4 peppercorns
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ tsp ginger, grated
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup yogurt, well stirred
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
- 1 green chili, finely chopped
- Heat the oil in the inner pot on a medium heat.
- Add cumin seeds. Cook to they splutter.
- Add the cinnamon, cardamoms, peppercorns and turmeric. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add in Onions and cook until they become translucent.
- Add the ginger and Garlic and mix.
- Once the onions are golden brown, add in the tomatoes and mix well.
- Add the garam masala, chili Powder, turmeric and salt. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken pieces and cook for 6-7 minutes.
- Mix in the yogurt and bring to the boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on.
- switch of the heat and transfer the inner pot into the insulated outer container.
- Leave to thermal cook without power for a minimum of 3 hours.
- When ready to eat stir in the lemon juice and bring back to the boil.
- Check the seasoning of the sauce and adjust by adding more salt if necessary.
- Serve with boiled rice and garnished with the chopped coriander.