Recipes for curries vary almost more than any other dish, which is great because you can hardly go wrong. Curries make delicious use of last night’s roast pork, chicken, beef, or seafood, and they are a wonderful way to serve just vegetables as a main course. Use two cups of cooked meat, as in our family staple here, eggplant and chicken curry; it’s Brendan’s favorite. Or make a curry of cauliflower florets and sugar snap peas as a meatless variation. Either way, make it as spicy as you wish, tasting as you go, adding small amounts of curry powder and chile paste until the heat is just right for you.
Curry powder is a combination of spices whose potency varies with the manufacturer; some have more cumin and coriander, others more ginger and chili powder. Since this isn’t a book about the nuances of South Asian cooking, I’ll not insist you make your own, but I do hope you’ll sample a few curry powders to find your favorite. As for rice, use what you have, but I love basmati and jasmine rice. You can even use brown rice.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 eggplant, unpeeled, diced
- 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
- 1 summer squash, diced
- 1 potato, peeled and diced
- One 13-ounce can coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon sambal chile paste
- 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cups cooked rice
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over high heat, add the eggplant, and sauté until soft. Add the ginger, green onions, and garlic. Sprinkle the curry powder into the pan and toast for a moment. Add the squash and potato, stirring to coat them with the spices.
Continue to stir for a few minutes, then add the coconut milk, broth, and chile paste. Bring to a gentle boil, add the chicken, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve over rice.