Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chicken Curry with Eggplant

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 c. chopped sweet onion
3-4 cloves chopped garlic
1 small eggplant, chopped, salted and rinsed and drained
1/2 c. fresh mushrooms, sliced
3/4 pound chicken tenders, cut in smaller pieces (remove tendons)
3 Tbsp. curry powder (I used a combination, but I recommend Penzey's hot and sweet curry powder or if you can get it "Coco's curry" from Okinawa - use half this  and half sweet curry)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. fresh ginger root, chopped finely or dried ginger root, crushed (can also buy this from Penzey's)
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. ketchup (or if you have it, tomato paste)
1 can light coconut milk (I used Trader Joe's)1 tsp. sugar (try brown sugar for variety)
1/2 c. golden raisins
1 6 or 8 oz. carton plain yogurt
Small handful of fresh basil, sliced thinly

Cooked Jasmine rice

Heat half the oil in a large skillet. Saute onion until lightly browned. Add mushrooms and garlic, browning, but being careful not to burn the garlic. Remove from pan and drain on paper toweling. Eggplant should be cut and salted to remove some of the bitter flavors if you have time. Be sure to wash off the salt and drain well before adding to the pan. Add more oil and the eggplant. Cook and stir until softened, but still firm. Remove from pan and drain on paper toweling. Add a small amount of olive oil and chicken tenders. Brown on all sides, but not cooked through. When browned sufficiently, add curry, cinnamon, garam masala, paprika, ginger root, bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste. Add more olive oil so spices don't burn. Stir until fragrant. Add ketchup and coconut milk, stirring to mix the spices. Add raisins and sugar. Bring to a slight boil and then turn down heat to low. Mix in plain yogurt until smooth. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms and eggplant back into the pan and mix until well stirred. Simmer for 15-25 minutes, making certain chicken is done and eggplant is soft. Add basil and simmer until basil is limp, but still green.

Adjust seasoning as desired. Be sure to start with less hot curry -- you can always add more heat by adding some cayenne pepper too. Serve over rice.

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