The Yellow Curry along with all its beautiful stain!
I always get myself in stained with yellow whenever I am making this Curry at home. As funny as it might sound, you just cannot escape it. Still everything is so worthwhile when making this Curry. You can barely taste the turmeric to be honest. Instead such a comforting warmth that leaves great sensory delights on your taste buds. I know we, Mauritians absolutely love our fire cracking and exotic Cari Poule – Chicken Curry. The aromas are just enough to drag you into their wonderland of flavours.
I wasn’t even aware of Chicken Turmeric Curry, until one day at lunch the usual Chicken Curry was tasting different. I never imagine we could make Curry with only Turmeric. However on that very particular day , the chances were that we ran out of Masala/Curry powder at home. We are so tuned into our usual Masala Curry and its flavours that the Turmeric Chicken was such an exciting freshness to my culinary experiences. Ma used to be vegetarian at birth but then after marrying my father, she had to hop on to the other side of life. And the very first bite she took on the other side of life was this – The Yellow Chicken Curry.
My GrandMa signature dish apparently and she would make them the very old rustic way, on an open fire oven made from rocks and woods. Ah, I can literally visualise Dadi’s tattooed hands and arranging the wooden sticks for a great fire. I remember so much of my childhood days as if they were yesterday, the fire sparks coming out from the wooden oven, the heat and Dadi blowing into her ”Pukni” ( an igniter made from metal and tube shaped). I mean being a dreamer, those reminiscences of childhood days are absolutely priceless.
I know yes, I know you were going to ask – But what is the difference between these two Curries. Well I believe the only difference is that instead of using Garam Masala/Curry powder, you only use Turmeric powder to build the Curry. And Turmeric being such a great anti- inflammatory compound, you can only benefit from it. Wholeheartedly! Oh yes returning to my Mum’s on that day. I mean now she is such an expert in cleaning, cutting and cooking Octopus. She does that in just minutes to be honest even with Fish.We both are very different when it comes to cooking, I mean we both cook very differently. I absolutely love spices and my favourite spice is Coriander Seeds! I mean sprinkle that like confetti everywhere! But Mum does not like it and even my siblings. They give me their big eyes at the table every time they find those grains in my food.
The Yellow Curry – Poulet Safranner
Preparation time : Overnight + 15 mins
Cooking time : 35 mins
- 1kg Chantecler Chicken Legs (Pilons)
- 1 plain yogurt
- 1 large red onion
- curry leaves
- 3 big spoonful of turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp of garlic/ginger paste
- 1/2 cup of tomato puree or 2-3 medium ripe tomatoes
- 1 tbsp of cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp of coriander seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 2-3 cloves
- 2-3 cardamom pods
- 1 lime (juice)
- fresh coriander leaves
- handful of mint leaves
- vegetable oil
- salt/pepper cones
- Marinate the Chantecler Chicken legs with the plain yogurt along with a handful of mint leaves. Leave overnight in the refrigerator to rest.
- In a non stick pan or large cooking vessel, add couple of tbps of vegetable oil followed by onions,thyme, ginger/garlic paste, coriander seeds ,cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds , cinnamon stick , cloves, cardamoms, bay leaves, a few pepper cones and curry leaves. Slow fry the all for a couple of mins until you can smell the fragrance of the spices.
- Next add the tomato puree/cubes to the spice mix and 1/2 a cup of water. Leave to simmer. Salt accordingly.
- Afterwards add the turmeric powder and a couple of more tbsp of vegetable oil.Fry the spice mix as if.
- Pour in the overnight marinated chicken and coat the everything with the turmeric spice mix. Add a handful more of mint leaves and lime juice.
- Add 3 cups of water and cover the Chantecler chicken to simmer on a slow fire.
- Before turning off the gas, sprinkle some coriander leaves on top.
- Serve with plain white fluffy basmati rice and any side of your choice.
Note : You can add potato chunks, chayotte cubes or even Peas to the Curry. I wanted to make it simply with the Chicken. I love it best served with a Pilaf rice! Make the whole thing way better.