Budget (Ethnic) Eats: Curry Chicken with Peas & Carrots

14 Jan

ImageI’m somewhat experienced with eating Indian food. So good. So, so delicious. So spicy, flavorful and fun. Samosas? Tikka Masala? Saag Paneer? Sign me and my belly up, please.

But cooking Indian food? Um … I’ve baked frozen, pre-made samosas before. And … okay, that’s about it. Embarrassing, right? At least, as someone who loves to eat Indian cuisine, I should attempt to cook something within that family of foods, right?

So, I set out to start small. I had curry powder (which, granted, doesn’t actually exist in India — “curry” is a hyper-local blend of spices, rather than a single seasoning — but is easy enough to find at grocery stores that cater to us not-Indian-but-love-Indian-food cooks), I had chicken breasts, I had frozen peas and carrots. This couldn’t be too crazy, right? At the very least, I could have curry-flavored chicken, even if it wasn’t terribly “authentic.”

Image sourced from www.passagetoindianc.com. So many dishes, so little cash?

Image sourced from http://www.passagetoindianc.com. So many dishes, so little cash?

My other concern with cooking Indian food was my budget — Indian dishes often call for a blend of spices, some obscure ingredients, and at the very least, a hefty pantry-restocking adventure that my wallet just couldn’t handle. How could I cover the costs of trying something new without a massive grocery bill?

As a first try, this Curry Chicken with Peas & Carrots hit the spot in all respects. It was spicy & flavorful, and best of all, it left me feeling encouraged to tackle more Indian flavors in the future. Plus, the only investment I really made was the curry powder blend from Whole Foods, which I’d already purchased at Thanksgiving for my Pinot Noir Cranberry Sauce. Win! Here’s to the best kind of experiment — a tasty and edible one!

GKG’s Curry Chicken with Peas & Carrots — serves 2-3; easily doubled. Best with Coconut Cauliflower Mash or steamed basmati or jasmine rice.

You’ll need:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (alternately use 4 or 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
  • 1/4 cup white flour
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil or 2 tsp ghee (Indian clarified butter, if you can find it — veggie oil worked just fine for me)
  • 1/4 cup water, veggie broth or chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas & carrots, thawed
  • Lime juice for serving (optional)

Here’s what you do:

  • Cut the chicken into 1-inch chunks. In a mixing bowl, stir the chicken together with the flour, curry powder, salt & pepper. Alternately, combine all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag and shake until chunks are thoroughly coated.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add chicken in batches; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through. Add water or broth and allow to cook down slightly and thicken, creating a light, flavorful curry sauce.
  • Add peas & carrots, stirring thoroughly until well-coated with curry sauce. Cover the pan for 2-3 minutes, allowing the veggies to heat through.
  • Serve with rice, cauliflower, or a lovely piece of naan bread.

Cheap, flavorful, and good. Not too bad for an experiment! What are some of your recent food-ventures? Tried any new recipes or different cuisines lately? Happy eating!

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3 Responses to “Budget (Ethnic) Eats: Curry Chicken with Peas & Carrots”

  1. The Porto Bellas January 14, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    Great post! I love indian food… I don’t eat it enough. And I didn’t know that about curry, thanks for sharing!
    -JulieC

    • galleykitchengal January 15, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

      Thanks! I don’t eat it enough, either … and it’s just so delicious. Here’s to more Indian cooking experiments!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. February Resolution: A Month-Long Passport to … ? « galley kitchen gal - February 3, 2013

    […] I’m at it), samosas, saag paneer, and more! While I love eating Indian food, as I’ve mentioned before, I have little to no experience making it. Well, here’s to learning something new! (Or […]

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