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.”
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.
- 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!