Growing up in the Surinamese melting pot of cultures, I was exposed to curry dishes from Indian friends during their holidays or at parties. Since we love spicy food, we like any type of curry, but never so much as the Brittons who had a Curry Festival in London this week! They even refer to Chicken Tikka Masala as the “British national dish”. I hope to visit London one day, if only to taste their curry for comparison’s sake 🙂
Curry is mostly known in Indian and Thai cooking, but is also used in Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Iranian, Vietnamese, British and West Indian cuisine. In Suriname we are more familiar with the West Indian style and a very popular dish is roti with curry chicken. The wrap roti originated from Trinidad but is well-known in all of the Caribbean. (Photo: Thibeault’s Table)
Curry powder is a mix of some basic spices, such as tumeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, and can include as many as 20 spices. You can buy this in the Asian or Indian grocery stores or markets.
There are various types of curry, from green to yellow or red to brown, used in different cuisines, but for this curry chicken recipe I am using the yellow curry or masala.
1 whole chicken, cut in small pieces
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion sliced
1 tomato or 1 tsp paste
3 tsp curry or masala
2 boullion cubes
1 tbsp parsley or celery, finely chopped
1 fresh pepper (optional)
3 tbsp oil
1 cup of water
Rinse the chichen and drain. Heat the oil and add the onion and garlic. Stir frequently, adding the tomato, cubes, curry, and fresh pepper. Mix thoroughly until tomato is almost dissolved. Add the chicken and turn over to cover with curry mix. Add some black pepper and salt if necessary. Lower temperature and cover the pan, cooking the chicken for about 10 minutes before turning it over. The chicken should produce it’s own liquid. If not, add 1/2 cup of water and let it simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes. When the meat is done (30-45 minutes), turn off the heat and sprinkle the parsley or celery on the chicken.
Curry chicken is served with roti (flat bread), vegetables and curry potatoes. You can also eat it with steamed rice.