tamarind chicken

curry for lunch

This was an extra-nice sort of chicken curry dinner. We (loosely) followed a fairly involved recipe out of the Vij’s cookbook for tamarind-marinated chicken in a rich curry sauce, and it was well worth the trouble.

on the stove

It’s a beautiful book, but the recipes suffer a bit from what I think of as restaurant-itis, where every part of every dish is complicated. The way I prefer to cook at home usually involves one involved recipe, like a sauce or fancy side dish, with plain vegetables or a piece of pan-seared meat or fish. But sometimes it’s fun to go a bit further and make something as written. In this case both the chicken and the sauce were good (and good together), and I could definitely see making either again on their own.

tamarind chicken

The chicken was especially good. Jon used most of a brick of tamarind pulp to make the paste, but you could also use the readymade stuff. The book called for chicken breasts cut lengthwise and grilled, but I used boneless chicken thighs and baked them. It worked excellently, but I do intend to try it on the grill when the weather gets better. This would make amazing sandwiches, perhaps with fresh tomato and cucumber. Mmmm.

building curry

curry

The curry sauce had a base of lightly caramelised onions cooked with fresh jalapeño, chopped tomato, and spices, with water added to make it very soupy. Then I mixed some chickpea flour into more water and stirred it into the sauce, then adding coconut milk before simmering it about twenty minutes. The sauce thickened to a creamy consistency, and the end result was rich, yet light and flavorful. We ladled it over the chicken along with sauteed greens and roasted yellow potatoes, which was a really good call on my part, if I do say so myself.

We made way more curry sauce than we needed for the dinner, so I’m thinking of using it for a soup base. Maybe with noodles?

Tamarind Chicken

adapted from Vij’s: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine by Vikram Vij

  • 2 lbs boneless chicken thighs
  • 2/3 cup tamarind paste
  • 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • a few dollops of oil
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 Tbsp New Mexico chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt

Combine all the marinade ingredients and toss with the chicken. Refrigerate for about 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Put the chicken in one layer in a roasting pan and bake about half an hour, or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with curry sauce and potatoes, or over rice, or in tacos, or in a sandwich, or…?

chiles

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2 thoughts on “tamarind chicken

    1. Just the mixed greens and roasted potatoes, which ended up getting sort of absorbed into the dish in a very nice way. And I did make a soup out of the leftovers with egg noodles, which was awesome.

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