The science behind Desi chicken curry — explained by an Indian scientist in the heart of America.
Curry powder is a blend of three main spices: turmeric, ginger and garlic, and it is a staple of Indian cuisine. The commercial curry powder was first introduced by Indian merchants to British settlers, who then brought the mix to the European continent in the 18th century. British cooks used the blend to achieve the flavors of India, just as millions of people around the world continue doing today.
Dr. Akhilesh Kumar Gupta is a postdoctoral fellow in the department of physics at University of Nebraska at Omaha. While biomedical research is his specialty in the laboratory, cooking Indian recipes is his hobby at home. The youngest of three brothers, Dr. Gupta had to learn to cook when his mother fell ill during his childhood. Dr. Gupta prepared food for the entire family back then, and today he taught me how to make Desi chicken curry. Also, why do Indians eat with their hands? Watch and learn from this episode of Spice & Recipe.
RECIPE: DESI CHICKEN CURRY
SPICE: CURRY POWDER
SERVING SIZE: 2 PEOPLE
- 1/2 lb. chicken, cut into small pieces
- 1 chopped onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- chili powder as per taste
- 1 tomato chopped
- cilantro chopped
- cumin seeds
- curry powder
- turmeric powder
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or mustard oil (as per availability)
- 3 Indian bay leaves (If available)
Place chicken in a deep bowl. Add chopped onion and chopped tomatoes. Smash garlic and a small amount of ginger together to make a paste by using a mortar. Add paste to chicken, along with turmeric, curry powder, chili powder for more heat, salt to taste and two tablespoons of oil. Mix very well. Use the last tablespoon of oil to roast cumin seeds by using a pan over low heat. Add chicken mix and bay leaves after breaking them into small pieces. Saute for a few minutes then add one cup of water. Let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve on a bed of rice. ENJOY!
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