Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mango chicken curry with rice

I've been searching for a curry my mother used to make for a very long time. However, the base of it was a KnorrSwiss curry mix that isn't available any more (believe me, I've tried to find this!) and Mom added to it with curry powder she'd gotten in Johannesburg, asking a friend to bring some back for her, after we moved elsewhere. The curry used mutton or chicken, and stewed all day long in its sweet/savory sauce. It was served over rice with lots of 'sambal' accompaniments - chopped peanuts, tomatoes, bell pepper, raisins, onion, mango chutney. Now obviously, I'm not going to make a real chicken curry, but there is a new product on the market that's astoundingly similar to chicken - gardein. The texture is so very like chicken that with the right treatment it's a perfectly satisfactory replacement - otherwise, I think I'd use chickpeas, potatoes, or dry-fried tofu pieces in its place.

I found the following recipe here and got rather excited to see if it might be the same (or similar) to that early favorite of mine - in fact, it's what I used to beg for as a birthday dinner, year after year! I'll paste it in, with my changes:

Mango Chicken Curry Recipe


* 3 Tbsp (or more) of vegetable oil
* 1 large onion, chopped (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
* 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
* 2 Tbsp yellow curry powder
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 2 mangos, peeled and diced
* 2 Tbsp cider vinegar or white vinegar
* 1 1/4 cup water
* 4 gardein 'chicken' breasts, rinsed and dried, chopped in 1" cubes, or 1 container of tofu, cubed and dry-fried.
* 1/3 cup golden raisins
* 1/2 cup coconut milk
* Salt and pepper
* Cilantro for garnish


1 Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and another tablespoon of oil, cook for a couple more minutes. Add the curry powder and cumin, cook for a few more minutes. The spices will absorb some of the oil, so if anything begins to stick too much to the bottom of the pan, add a little more oil to the pan. Add the ginger and garlic, cook for one minute more.

2 Add the vinegar, water, and a 1/2 of the chopped mango to the pan. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat. Scoop the sauce into a blender. Purée the sauce, pulsing until smooth. Return the sauce to the pan.

3 Add Gardein pieces and raisins to the pan. Return to a low simmer. Cover the pan and let cook for 8-10 minutes.

4 Add remaining mango pieces to the pan. Stir in the cream. Let cook at a very low temperature for another minute or two, uncovered. Do not let boil! Or the cream may curdle. Adjust seasonings. If a little too sweet, add a little more vinegar. If not sweet enough, you can add a dash of sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro. Serves 4.

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