Looks like I’m on a curry kick. I go through periods where I am craving some type of food and I make variations of it for a week straight before I move on to something else. I like that I get a chance to riff on one recipe and change it up a couple of ways. Although I’m sure that my parents get sick of eating the same type of food for several nights straight. Oh well, I guess they can’t complain since somebody is cooking dinner for them!
This recipe actually uses the same method as the Cauliflower & Bitter Melon Curry and most of the same base ingredients. But it tastes completely different! And I think this one is a bit more accessible for those you don’t have Indian bitter melon at their local grocery store. I served it with brown basmati rice that I got from Trader Joe’s, but regular white rice would be just as good. You can also serve with bread to soak up the remaining sauce or garlic naan, if you have access to it!
Don’t be intimidated by all the steps — each one is there for a reason and it comes together pretty quickly when you’re actually cooking. I used a big, meaty gray squash, but I think it would be very good with a winter squash like acorn or butternut. If you try it, please let us know in the comments how it tastes!
Chicken and Squash Curry
5-6 chicken thighs or 3-4 chicken breasts, cut into 1-2″ chunks
1 small onion, sliced into “rainbows”
1 gray squash or acorn squash or butternut squash, chopped
10-15 pieces of okra, cut into small rounds (optional)
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1.5 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon amchur powder (if you don’t have this, stir in a tablespoon of lemon juice at the end of cooking)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 teaspoons corn starch dissolved in 2 teaspoons cold water
Chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish (optional)
- Combine coriander, cumin, turmeric, amchur (if using), and cayenne powders. Divide mix in half.
- Salt the chicken pieces, then sprinkle with half the spice mix. Toss to make sure each piece is covered in spices and set aside to sit for 30-45 minutes at room temperature. (Hint: Cut up the veggies while waiting for chicken to marinate.)
- Heat enough vegetable oil to barely cover the bottom of a large, heavy skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place chicken chunks in the pan and brown for about 2 minutes. Flip over and brown another 2 minutes. Don’t crowd the pan – it’s best to do this step in batches. Set cooked chicken aside and continue browning all chicken, adding oil as necessary. Don’t worry if chicken is raw in the middle – it will finish cooking later.
- Once chicken is finished, reduce heat to low and add another swirl of oil. Cook onions until softened and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and remaining half of the spices and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the broth and the cooked chicken. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes.
- Remove lid, add zucchini, okra, and corn starch mixture. Allow to simmer another 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are cooked through and sauce has thickened. If sauce is not thick enough, mix another teaspoon cornstarch with a teaspoon of water, add to mix and simmer until thickened. Season with salt to taste and garnish with fresh herbs.
I didn’t take pictures of the cooking process because I thought this recipe would be unremarkable. But it was actually quite delicious so I decided to blog about it. Next time I make it, I’ll be sure to take pictures and post them here.
This dish makes a lot of sauce so serve with rice or bread to soak it all up!