Monster Curry

Monster Curry

Guys, there’s no such thing as Monster Extract.  We all know this.  It’s severely disappointing, but it’s true.  So, after much deliberation, I decided that Monster Extract was simply going to be unusual ingredients thrown into regular meals that either A) dye the food a more purple color or B) add a unique/unexpected purple food to the meal.  The goal is to actually do both.  And while some recipes will require the use of food coloring to achieve the right effect, this one, I am proud to say, does not!  Now, to make that happen, this meal isn’t quite as purple as I wish it could have been.  But we make do…

Monster Currymonster cake meter

We need to start with the chicken and the marinade.  This allows the spices to mix together for long enough that the marinade takes on the flavor of the spices and they don’t taste quite so raw and it also allows the chicken to soak up the flavor of the marinade.  It’s like… giving the chicken the Zora Tunic – all of a sudden Link takes on the characteristics of the Zora and can breathe underwater.  Thank goodness.

So cut up the thigh meat (technically you can use breast, too, but thigh tends to retain moisture better) into 1/2 inch cubes.  Doesn’t have to be perfect, we just want them similar in shape so they cook at the same time.  Then peel and cut the garlic and fresh ginger.

add to the blender

Next we add all the spices, the tomato paste, and the yogurt to a blender (or food processor if you’re cool like that).  Blend until completely combined.  You may have to stop occasionally, even in a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, and shake and scrape everything around to make sure the garlic and ginger get thoroughly chopped.

Add the spice mixture to a bowl with the chicken and stir to completely coat the chicken.  Cover and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably 2.

When the chicken is nearly done marinating let’s take the onion, carrot, and beets, wash them, and dice them.  A word of caution – if you cut the beets into large or thick pieces they will take FOREVER to cook.  Don’t make my mistakes, cut them up nice and skinny.

Start the rice about the time you’re ready to start cooking.  We’ve gone over this – add rice, wash rice, add water, press start.  You guys are experts by this point!

When you’re done dicing and slicing, take the chicken out of the fridge to warm up a bit.  Add half the butter and oil to a pan – I prefer my good, old-fashioned cast iron pans.  I’m kind of obsessed with them…  When the butter is melted add the onion and cook for maybe 1-2 minutes.  Next add the carrots and beets and cook until they’re tender, about 10 minutes.

cook chicken

Remove the veggies from the pan and add the remaining butter and oil.  When the butter is, you got it, melted, add the chicken and all the marinade.  It feels like a lot.  It feels thick and goopy.  It feels weird.  But trust me, it all works out in the end.

add veggies back in

Cook until the chicken is completely cooked through.  Depending on the size of your chicken pieces it should take about 10 minutes.  Just make sure there’s no pink in the middle of a piece if you cut it open, okay?  Add back all the veggies and stir and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until everything is nice and combined.

add the cream

At this point, add your heavy cream.  Stir and mix until it’s completely combined and then simmer for about 15 minutes.  We want to give the flavors time to combine and we want to give the curry time to change colors from yellow to… a more purplish yellow…  It’s all I could do, folks.

close up

Serve with the rice and be happy!

Link’s Monster Curry recipe:

    • Hylian Rice
    • Goron Spice
    • Monster Extract

Monster Curry

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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A chicken korma curry with beets and carrots


Recipe adapted from Indian Chicken Korma by Sabrina from Dinner Then Dessert

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken thighs boneless and skinless
  • 5 medium carrots
  • 8-10 beets
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil i.e. canola
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2.5 cups dry rice
  • water to cook rice

Marinade

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1.5 tablespoon-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1.5 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/3 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more for a spicier meal)
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 1/4 cup greek yogurt

Directions

  1. Cut up the chicken thighs into 1/2 inch cubes.
  2. Add all the spices, tomato paste, and yogurt to a blender or food processor.
  3. Blend until completely combined, scraping down and mixing the sauce as needed.
  4. Add the spice mixture to a bowl with the chicken and stir to completely coat the chicken.  Cover and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.
  5. Wash and dice the onion, carrot, and beets. Dice the beets into thin, bite-size pieces in order to shorten cooking times.
  6. Start the rice when you’re ready to start cooking. Rinse the rice several times, add water up to your first knuckle of your finger when it rests on top of the rice, and press start on your rice cooker.
  7. Take the chicken out of the fridge to warm up while you cook the vegetables.
  8. Add half the butter and oil to a pan. When the butter is melted add the onion and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the carrots and beets and cook until they’re tender, about 10 minutes.
  9. Remove the veggies from the pan.
  10. Add the remaining butter and oil. When the butter is melted add the chicken and all the marinade.
  11. Cook until the chicken is completely cooked through, ensuring there is no pink in the center of the chicken – about 10 minutes.
  12. Add back all the veggies and stir and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until everything is combined.
  13. Add the heavy cream.  Stir and mix until it’s completely combined and then simmer for about 15 minutes.
  14. Serve with the rice and be happy!

Vegetable Curry

Vegetable Curry

Let’s talk about sheer dumb luck for a second.  By that, I mean the sheer dumb luck I’ve been having making some of these recipes.  Guys, a lot of this stuff I’ve never made before.  Ever.  Some of these recipes have, by some miraculous intervention, worked out perfectly first try.  Yeah, yeah, some of that is the skills and knowledge I’ve built up over years of binge-watching cooking shows and always being willing to try new techniques.  But honest, some of it has to be luck.  Perfectly-placed-one-shot-to-a-guardian’s-eye-when-he’s-flying-all-over-the-place luck.  I’ve always dreamed about making Indian food, but I’ve never been brave enough to pull the trigger.  When I finally decide it’s time to start and I find a recipe that I feel like I can tweak and love, it turns out not only amazing, but incredible.  I surprised myself by how much I loved this recipe.  Goodbye $30.00 take-out once every other week because we love Indian food that much.  Hello homemade curry for half or less that cost and so many leftovers we begged people to come eat it… True story.

One time my brother-in-law told me that Breath of the Wild helped him finally gain the confidence he needed to tackle D.I.Y. projects around the house.  Video games aren’t just about playing a game, trying a new media, or even experiencing a new story.  The skills people learn from gaming can shape their lives in a very positive way.  My entire life I’ve been excellent at puzzles and problem solving.  It’s one of the reasons I became a scientist.  Now, part of that is personality and the brain I was born with.  But a decent helping of it came from countless hours playing puzzle-based games, like Zelda, which helped train my brain to solve complex ideas with limited resources.  And having the confidence to try new things, fiddle with ideas, and tackle your fears is what we gamers do best!  So guys, don’t be scared.  I promise there are very few ways you can screw up this recipe.  Give it a shot and I’m betting you’ll have a new staple for your weekly meal rotation… or however you determine dinner menus….

Vegetable Currytime and difficulty

First thing’s first – I forgot a overhead shot of all the ingredients.  Sorry!  I got so caught up in cooking everything was used and unphotographable before I realized it…

We start by getting everything ready.  It’s really the very best place to start.  Ooh! Also, this recipe is based on a coconut kurma, my absolute favorite Indian curry.  In case you were wondering what we were going to make!  Chop the veggies into large, but still bite size pieces (guys, I’m recognizing a theme over the last few posts…).  Cauliflower, green beans, onions, and carrots.  We’ve talked about the other veggies so often I think you’ve got it.  If not, check out the Veggie Cream Soup recipe.  It’ll go into plenty of detail.  However, the green beans are new.  You can use frozen but it’s starting to become summer around here and beans will very soon be nice and fresh!  So if you buy fresh beans, simply chop off the ends and cut into inch-ish long pieces.  That easy.

mincing garlic

Now for mincing the garlic.  I’ve kindly posted a video of how to do this, but let’s describe it, too.  Hold the garlic steady between two fingers.  Carefully slice the garlic into small strips, leaving the very end attached to each other (so the strips don’t separate).  Rotate the garlic 90° and repeat the process.  Then simply dice the garlic into very small pieces.  Mince by rocking your knife through the pile several times and in several directions.  Done!

melted butterOnce everything is ready melt the butter on very low heat.  We want it to be set to low.  This is not a joke.  We want to, as my very good friend says it, give the garlic and spices a nice Jacuzzi before we actually start to cook them.  It’ll give the garlic more time to sweat without burning and will bring out a lot more of the flavor.  It’s a slower process but absolutely worth it!

spices in butter

After the butter is melted add all the spices, including the garlic.  Stir around until everything is combined and allow to heat for several minutes.  You’re house will, at this point, start to smell amazing and you’ll start to get very hungry.  Continue cooking on low and stirring every minute or so for about 5ish minutes.

Once the spices are ready add the onion and slowly start to turn up the heat, a degree at a time every minute, until you get to medium.  Sweat the onions until translucent and covered in spices.  Some of the spices may stick to the bottom of the pan at this point.  Not to worry!  We’ll deglaze it off!

saute onion

While the spices and onions are cooking we need to do one thing: puree the tomatoes.  Wash the tomatoes well and place them in a blender or food processor (maybe?  I don’t know if you can puree tomatoes in a food processor).  Blend until pureed.  Complicated, right?  If you really insist on using only canned goods for everything just follow the same process but with canned tomatoes.  You’ll need one can for this.  But it’s so easy with fresh you may as well get the delightful flavor of fresh for just as much work!

If you’re unfamiliar with deglazing you really should check out the Prime Meat Stew recipe for details.  But it can be boiled down to this:  when the pan is hot add room temp liquid and scrape the bottom of the pan.  Add more liquid as necessary and all those spices will come right up!  So slowly add the tomato puree and deglaze the pan!

add all the liquid

Next add all the coconut milk and heavy whipping cream in one go.  Whisk until completely combined.  Add the brown sugar, whisk, and bring to a boil.  Once it’s there simply lower to a simmer and add the green beans, carrots, and cauliflower.  Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.

While the curry starts to simmer start the rice.  One of these days I’ll learn, and then share, how to cook rice in a pot on the stove.  But for now let’s stick with the rice cooker.  And, quite frankly, I use so much rice in these recipes if you’re going to make them you should invest in one yourself.  Jasmine or Basmati rice is particularly good for Indian food.  However, I’m so set in my sushi rice ways I just use Calrose for everything.  So experiment if you want, but it’s okay to stick with the classics.  Simply wash the rice several times, fill it up to your first knuckle when your finger rests on top of the rice, cover and hit the start button.  It’s that easy.

simmer for 15 minutes

When your 15 minute timer is up it’s time to add the peas (frozen, so they cook slower and don’t get mushy), cashews, and golden raisins.  The raisins’ll get nice and plump because they’ll soak up all that delicious liquid and the cashews will soften up nicely.  Simmer until the rice is done, stirring every so often.  Again, we don’t want anything to burn!

close up of curry

Serve over (or if you want to be picture accurate) next to your rice and enjoy!

Link’s Vegetable Curry

    • Any carrot or pumpkin
    • Hylian Rice
    • Goron Spice

Vegetable Curry

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Vegetables in a creamy coconut kurma curry sauce

Recipe adapted from North and Mouth’s “New and Improved Bombay House Chicken Coconut Kurma”

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 handful fresh green beans (very scientific, I know)
  • 1.5 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup roasted cashews
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1.5 teaspoons tumeric
  • cayenne/red pepper, 1/4 tsp for mild, 3/4 tsp for medium, 1.25 tsp for hot
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 3 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 15 ounces pureed tomato, about 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 15oz can coconut milk, full fat
  • 1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
  • white rice to serve, about 2 cups uncooked and 5 cups of water

Directions

  1. Chop the cauliflower and carrots into large, bite-sized pieces. Dice the onion into small pieces. Cut the ends of the green beans and cut into 1 inch pieces.
  2. Finely mince the garlic by holding the garlic steady between two fingers.  Carefully slice the garlic into small strips, leaving the very end attached to each other (so the strips don’t separate).  Rotate the garlic 90° and repeat the process.  Dice the cut strips into very small pieces.  Mince by rocking your knife through the pile several times and in several directions.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed pot melt the butter on low heat.
  4. When the butter is completely melted add all the spices, including the garlic.  Stir until combined and allow to heat for several minutes. Continue cooking on low and stirring every minute or so for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the onion and slowly turn up the heat, a degree at a time every minute, until you get to medium.  Sweat the onions until translucent and covered in spices.
  6. While the spices and onions are cooking puree the tomatoes.  Wash the tomatoes well and place them in a blender or food processor.  Blend until pureed.
  7. When the onions are translucent add a small amount of pureed tomato to the pan and scrape hard to deglaze the spices from the bottom. Repeat until all spices are removed from the bottom and are mixed in to the puree.
  8. Add all the coconut milk and heavy whipping cream.  Whisk until completely combined.  Add the brown sugar, whisk, and bring to a boil.
  9. Once the mixture is boiling lower heat to a simmer. Add the green beans, carrots, and cauliflower.
  10. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
  11. While the curry is cooking make the rice. Wash rice three times in water, fill with water to the first knuckle when your finger rests on top of the rice, cover and hit the start button on your rice cooker.
  12. When your curry has simmered for 15 minutes add the frozen peas, cashews, and golden raisins.
  13. Simmer until the rice is done, stirring every so often.
  14. When the rice is cooked serve curry over the rice and enjoy!