To say that we like chicken curry is an understatement. We love curry to the max! Whenever we travel, whatever country that may be - the first restaurant we always try to look for is an Indian curry house.
Before I got married, I wasn't a major fan of anything spicy. In the region (Southern Tagalog) where I grew up, spicy dishes are not really a big thing. We usually love sweet, sour and salty but spicy, not too much. But then I met my British husband who is into everything spicy. I was converted by him. He loves chicken curry. When we were still in England we used to visit Brick Lane in East London for some curry therapy. If you are ever in London, this is the place to go if you want to get curry. There are rows upon rows of curry houses there. I miss this place!
However there is one special curry place for us and, no, it's not in India or the UK or even the USA (truth is, there is no Indian restaurant where I live). Sad, isn't it. We found it, of all places, in Vietnam! While it may take years before we go back and eat there again, we have fond memories of Vietnam and most certainly the curry we had there. Here's a photo of myself in front of the restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City. It's not much to look at but the curry is great, if you are able to wake up its owner to cook for you! Seriously, it was great and the best we have tasted! Check this out when you find yourself in the streets of Saigon.
And for good measure, here's another photo of me and my hubby in Vietnam. Photo was taken while we were cruising the Mekong Delta. Happy Memories!
Before I get any more sidetracked, here's one of our favorite curry dish - Indian Butter Chicken. This is a mild curry so feel free to up the heat to your desired spice level. Enjoy!
5 pieces Roma or plum tomatoes - or 2 (14oz/410gr) cans of diced tomatoes (fresh is better though!)
2 Tablespoons oil and 5 Tablespoons Butter
2.2 pounds (1 kilo) skinless but bone-in chicken thighs (boneless are fine but they tend to fall apart)
Thumb-size peeled and chopped fresh ginger or 1 tsp of ground ginger
3 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
2 teaspoon each red Curry powder, ground Cumin and ground Paprika
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 ½ - 2 tsp salt, or to taste
¼ - ½ cup of plain Yogurt (you can use heavy cream, if you prefer)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (a must for me!)
If using fresh tomatoes, cut-up the tomatoes and then place in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth (puree the canned tomatoes too, if using this instead). In a deep pan, heat the oil and butter on medium to low heat until the butter melts. Stir in the spices, and let sizzle briefly, for a minute or less. Add the salt and brown sugar and stir until combined. Immediately, add the chicken pieces and coat them with the spices.
Mix in the pureed tomatoes. Though the mixture may seem thick at this point, it will thin out as it simmers. Bring to a quick boil and then cover the pan and gently simmer for about an hour or until the chicken is tender, occasionally stirring it. It is done when the chicken is tender and the sauce is medium-thick. It is already good and yummy at this point but if you like a creamier sauce, add plain yogurt or heavy cream and then squeeze some fresh lemon juice, to taste. Cook a little further without boiling just until the cream is heated. Garnish with coriander/cilantro leaves. Serve hot with freshly steamed rice (basmati or jasmine are the best for this!) and some green veggies on the side. Curry heaven!