This recipe is typical of the kind of dish Christians will offer to Muslim and nonvegetarian Hindu friends and neighbors.
Yield: serves 6
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 (1") piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 tsp. minced fresh hot green chile (serrano or thai)
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 6 tsp. ground coriander seeds
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 tsp. cayenne
- 1⁄4 tsp. turmeric
- 2 pinches ground cinnamon
- 2 pinches ground cloves
- 2 pinches ground cardamom
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1" cubes
- 3⁄4 cup fresh "second milk" coconut milk or 1⁄4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk, diluted with 1⁄2 cup water
- 1⁄4 cup fresh "first milk" coconut milk or 1⁄4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
- Heat oil in a medium heavy-bottomed casserole over medium-high heat. Add onions, and saute, stirring often, until browned, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chiles, and curry leaves, and saute for 1 minute, then add coriander, black pepper, cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, salt, and just enough water (4-6 tbsp.) to keep spices from sticking to the pan. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes longer.
- Add chicken to pan, and continue to cook (adding a little more water, if needed, to keep spices from burning), stirring constantly and scraping browned bits stuck to bottom of casserole with a wooden spoon, until chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add "second milk" coconut milk, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken has cooked through, about 20 minutes.
- Add "first milk" coconut milk, and bring just to a simmer (sauce will curdle if allowed to boil), then remove from heat. Add salt to taste.