When we moved to Charleston, S.C., I never expected to find myself surrounded with people from all over the world. Of course, I looked forward to being back in the south and in the heart of southern hospitality. I got the best of both worlds! Shortly after settling in, I met Kuki B. A navy wife, both she and her husband were originally from New Delhi. Through our years of friendship, she tutored me in the fine art of Indian cuisine. It soon became apparent to me that a bottle of curry powder was not in her spice cabinet! Instead, there were neatly categorized rows of green and brown cardamom pods, varied peppercorns and garam masala to name a few. The curry powders, Kuki told me, were put together for the English to take back with them after the raj. She, like all but the lazy (her words) Indian cooks, put together her own spice blends for each dish. Following suit, at one time I had 27 herbs and spices in my spice cabinet! I'm sure of this number as our younger son was the winner at school when told to count the number of herbs and spices at home. The problem is, unless you do a lot of Indian dishes, the spices lose their freshness rather quickly. That is my excuse these days. It sounds better than saying I've gotten lazy! So, with apologies to my dear friend, here is a simple and delicious curry that utilizes the bottle of golden curry powder sitting in my spice cabinet.
Chicken Curry For Four inspired by a N.Y. Times recipe
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1/4 cup raisins
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp curry powder
8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs
1 cup sour cream
Parsley for garnish
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring frequently about five minutes. Add the raisins and cook another minute. Turn the heat down to medium and add 1 tsp of curry powder. Continue cooking another two minutes.
2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the remainder of the curry powder.
3. In the pan, make room for the chicken, add and cook for about three minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover.
4. Add the sour cream and stir constantly until the mixture is thick, about a minute. Add the chicken back to the pan and cook, on medium low heat, another two minutes, turning a few times.
4. Serve over couscous or rice and garnish with the parsley.