World Food Challenge

Day 60: Fiji and Fijian Curry

Happy Easter Monday!

In Italy there is this lovely tradition to have a picnic on this day, or even have, usually the first, barbecue of the season. And I still remember that usually it would be raining exactly on this day. So it was no surprise that here in the Netherlands the weather was not exactly ideal for a picnic. However, years of experience did not bring me down and I organised our picnic in the living room.

Anyways, we are at day 60 and starting with the short list of countries starting with an “F”.
Fiji struck me with its version of chicken curry..so I obviously had to try it.

First things first, I had to make my own Garam masala.

The recipe is really easy:

2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp peppercorns
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 chilies
1/2 tsp cloves

Start by toasting the spices, apart from the turmeric and the chilies, in a pan for a couple of minutes.
Grind the spices in a mortar or a grinder until you have a powder. This powder can be stored for approximately a month. Afterwards, the flavour loses its intensity.

Now let’s get to the curry. I have used this recipe as a guideline. You’ll need:

2 tbsp peanut oil
1 onion chopped
3 garlic crushed
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground chili
2 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 medium aubergine or 2 long and thin aubergines chopped
8 curry leaves, if you can find them
1 plantain or alternatively 2 medium potatoes chopped
1 can tomatoes
3/4 c coconut milk
1-2 chicken breasts or otherwise you can also use chicken pieces
2 tomatoes chopped
fresh coriander to serve
1 lime to serve

Start by heating some oil in a pan. Cook the onion until it is golden. Add the garlic and the spices and cook until the mustard seeds start to pop. Add some water to keep it from drying or burning. Add the curry leaves, aubergine, plantain, canned tomatoes, coconut milk and some water. Add also some salt to taste. Cover with a lid and let it simmer until the aubergine is soft. Add the chicken and the tomatoes. Continue simmering until it the chicken is done. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with coriander. Before eating, squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top of the curry. Serve with steamed white rice

Obviously, it goes without saying, that for me as a curry lover, the dish was delicious!

Love,

Raffi

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