“I like horses,” said I, lungs tight with feeling. “I always have done.”
“Do you like dreadfully drafty English country houses?”
“I did not always, but I have grown to.”
“What about curry?”
“Everyone likes curry, sir.”
I concur with Jane. Everyone likes curry! For a Jane Steel book review, click here.
I loved the many references to curry throughout this novel and was especially enchanted by the descriptions of all the different spices. I wanted to integrate them in my own recipe and put special emphasis on cloves after reading about the clove-scented tea Mr. Singh serves to Jane.
“Now we sat alone in the kitchen, Mr. Sardar Singh and I. All the hanging copper pans and cast-iron pots remained the replica of my memory’s; they were augmented, however, by queer skillets and glazed vessels, and where once only salt and pepper had reposed, a sunset blaze of glass-jarred spices sat next to a heaping bowl of onion, garlic, and ginger, all emitting a perfume so overwhelming that I had already sneezed twice. For good measure, I did so again.”
**Recipe notes: For best results, marinate the chicken the night before. Also, the naan recipe is below the curry recipe. If you begin the naan recipe first, you will be able to enjoy your curry with a side of piping hot naan bread! **
Sweet Potato Chicken Curry
2 pounds of chicken
1- 14 ounce can of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of lime juice
2 tablespoons of red curry paste
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 inch of peeled and minced ginger
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup of pureed tomatoes
2 tablespoons of curry
1 teaspoon of cloves
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 – 14 ounce can of coconut milk
- Place the diced chicken, coconut milk, lime juice, and red curry paste in a gallon sized ziplock bag. Marinate overnight.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the onions and cook for about 15 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Stir in the minced garlic and minced ginger, cooking for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the sweet potatoes and pureed tomatoes. Keep on medium heat and cover with a lid for 10 minutes, allowing the sweet potatoes to begin to soften.
- Add the spices: curry, cloves, cinnamon, salt, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne. Mix thoroughly.
- Add the chicken and marinade to the pan, as well as the 1/2 can of coconut milk. (Reserve the other 1/2 of the can for morning smoothies, breakfast cereal, or my Coconut Cream Fruit Tart).
- Bring to a low simmer and cook on low to medium heat for 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sweet potato is soft.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool for ten minutes before serving with naan bread. Naan recipe below!
Naan Bread (adapted from Paul Hollywood):
500 grams of white, unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoons of salt
15 grams of yeast
3/4 teaspoon of dried garlic
1 and 1/3 cups of lukewarm water
1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small bowl of water
- Mix together the flour, salt, yeast, and dried garlic. Add the water about 1/4 cup at a time. You will want a sticky, wet dough. Separate the dough into three balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Cover the dough with greased plastic wrap. Let sit for one hour.
- When the dough is finished rising, work with one of your three balls of dough at a time.
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil on a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat.
- Place one ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into four balls. Roll out the naan into a tear-shape.
- Dip your fingers into the water and lightly dampen both sides of the naan dough. My pan allows me to cook two slices of naan at a time. Cook for two minutes until the dough begins to form bubbles and is slightly blackened on the other side. Flip the dough over. Place a lid over the pan and cook for an additional two minutes.
- Repeat until you’ve finished all of the dough. Add additional oil to the pan as needed.