If you love Indian food as much as I do, you'll be glad to know that brightly seasoned curries aren't difficult to prepare at home. Aside from cumin seed, this quick and easy version omits the whole spices called for in an authentic Indian curry and requires just a tablespoon of butter, so it remains light and healthy. Lots of finely chopped onion and a generous dollop of tomato paste give body to the sauce, turning it into a rich stew. But don't worry - the onion and garlic mellow considerably, even in the short time the curry is on the stove. In Dutch oven or large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add cumin seed if using, and toast seeds for 1-2 minutes until sizzling and fragrant. Add onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes or until onion begins to brown.
|2 tablespoons vegetable oil||4 tablespoons tomato paste|
|1 tablespoon butter||1/4 teaspoon turmeric|
|1 1/4 teaspoon cumin seed (optional)||3/4 teaspoon ground coriander|
|1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)||1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or slightly more or less to taste|
|1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 3 cloves)||1/2 teaspoon salt|
|1 tablespoon minced ginger (about a 1-inch piece)||1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into pieces about 1 1/2 by 2 inches|
Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, another 1-2 minutes, until garlic browns.
Add tomato paste, turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cayenne and salt, and stir well for 1-2 minutes. Mixture will be thick; add 2-3 tablespoons water to make it easier to stir.
Place chicken pieces in pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, stir well and cover pan. Turn heat to low and simmer curry 8 minutes. Taste sauce for salt and add more if necessary. Serve sprinkled with chopped cilantro leaves if you like.
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