When I crave curry, I go home to Mom. Her yellow curry is exactly what I want. Mild, aromatic with a subtle tang from the yogurt and sweetness from caramelized onions, it is an unusual recipe in that the sauce incorporates an egg. It comes together quickly, making it ideal for busy weeknights. There is no long list of exotic ingredients. It’s so elegantly simple and delicious, you can make it tonight.
Armenians and Persians put either potatoes or bread under the rice while it’s cooking to prevent the rice from becoming crispy. That irresistibly crunchy, buttery thingo at the bottom is then dubbed TAHDIG. Yes, it has a name and it tastes like sheer heaven. Some restaurants even serve just the sauce the bread, nixing the rice altogether, which isn’t fair, because rice is big in the Middle East. Fluffy, long grains of white deliciousness drenched in butter often steal the show. The trick to making Mom’s perfect rice is in the technique, starting with a proper rinse to remove the starch.
My Grandmother’s Yellow Curry Chicken
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
2 cups basmati rice
5-6 cups of water
2 Tb salt
1 big pita bread slice
1 stick butterSauce
2 onions, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tb flour
1 free-range egg
32 oz or 4 cups yogurt
2 lbs free-range chicken
2 heaping Tb curry powder
2 tsp turmeric powderSalt & pepper to taste
1 Tb curry paste (optional)Instructions
Start the basmati rice.
Fill a bit pot with water, add a generous amount of salt and bring to a boil.Meanwhile, rinse rice really well. The water should be clear. Removing the starch makes the rice cook up really fluffy.
Once the water starts boiling, add the rice, give it a stir, put the lid on and cook 10-15 mins.Put the pot lid over the pita and trace around it a knife.
Drizzle olive oil at the bottom of the pot and nestle pita into the pot.
Transfer par-cooked rice over the bread, put the lid on and set pot over very gentle heat.Steam another 15 mins, then top with knobs of butter for a silky finish.
Rice will be ready in another 10 mins.
PlacePeel, chop and brown onions in a bit of olive oil with NO seasoning.
Mince garlic and set aside for 10 mins.Once starts to brown, stir constantly to avoid burning.
Add chopped garlic, add cook chicken, continue to fry.
Season with turmeric, salt and pepper.
Set aside.Now make curry sauce.
Blend egg with flour, then add yogurt.
Heat gently, stirring constantly to a bubble.Pour over chicken mixture, stir, add a small knob of butter
and simmer on very low heat.
Add a Tb of curry paste to amp up the flavor (optional).
If too thick, add water or chicken stock.Serve with fluffy rice!