29 April 2009

Hot Curry Lovin'

Occasionally I will ponder, at 7 o'clock in the morning mind you, what I'm going to cook for dinner. If I happen to ask Turner then or at any other point before the evening, he will say that he doesn't know because he's not hungry. I think that since I cook the food and have to put something together, I tend to think about the preparations ahead of time. Turner is more likely to throw something together based on what's in the house or forgo cooking altogether and go get some street food.

This morning I was at a loss. I was tired of my repertory of recipes and di
dn't have the energy for completely unknown culinary territory, so I decided to do a variation on my regular curry recipe. Since I had a can of lentils and a can of tomatoes, I Googled "chicken lentil curry" and found some relevant recipes to used for inspiration. For dishes like stews, chilies, and curries, I tend to just toss things together instead of measuring precise amounts.

In a wok, I sauteed the basics to start: first the onion, then the garlic and ginger.

I added the boneless, skinless chicken that I had cut into small bits and the curry powder so that everything could get coated and the spices could toast to bring out their aromas and flavors. Then I squeezed the whole tomatoes from the can and added the juice along with two cups of chicken broth (from bouillon), a bay leaf, and three dried chilies.

Once this had simmered away for about 20 minutes, I added the rinsed lentils and let it all cook for about another 30 minutes. (I had to turn it off because Turner was late coming home from work.)

After Turner got home, had a shower, and made cocktails, I reheated the curry and then poured in almost one cup of yogurt. This adds a nice thickness/creaminess to the curry and can mellow out the heat of the chilies if it's overpowering. The curry gets ladled alongside white rice and steamed spinach. Oh, it was tasty. I'm already looking forward to eating the leftovers tomorrow. Like chili and stew, curry is usually better the second day.

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