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Vinod's Chicken Curry Recipe

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This recipe for Vinod's Chicken Curry, by , is from Brues, Let's Eat, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Nord Brue
Added: Saturday, January 31, 2009


5 oz (1/2 bottle) Patak’s Medium Curry Paste
2 Tbl oil
2 lbs Chopped onions
2 Tbls Pickling Spice
2 Bay Leaves
4 Cloves of Garlic
12 Thighs and 12 Legs of Chicken (8 lbs) Skinless
Large Can (48 oz) Chicken Stock
Large Can (28 oz) Chopped Tomatoes
2 lbs boiling potatoes in 1 inch pieces
1 Head of Cauliflower in flowerettes
11/2 lbs okra (sliced in ovals or whole if small)
1 lb defrosted frozen peas (Large peas)

1. Saute ½ of the onions, 1 Tbl pickling spice, and 1 bay leaf in oil.
2. When onions are soft add ½ curry paste and sauté for 2-3 minutes
3. Add ½ the chicken
4. Place the first batch in large stock pot or dutch oven on low heat
5. Repeat steps 1-3 with the other onions, spices and Chicken and add to stock pot
6. Add tomatoes and cook together briefly
7. Add Chicken stock (It’s better if the stock has been pre-heated.) and let simmer 5-10 minutes.
8. Add the potatoes and simmer for 10-15 minutes
9. Add the cauliflower and simmer for 20-25 minutes (Until chicken is done)
10. Add the okra and simmer 10-15 minutes
11. Add the peas and as soon as they are warmed through serve over Basmati rice.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
1 Hour
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
Have you ever been instructed in the proper way to chop an onion? (Who knew there was a right way and a wrong way?) I learned this valuable technique from my friend Vinod, who showed me how to chop an onion by standing it on its stem and slicing top to bottom, then removing the tough outer skin and laying the onion cut face down and slicing lengthwise, then holding it with one hand while chopping across the onion and pitching it in the frying pan. This approach is very efficient and that’s important in chopping onions for Indian cooking because you’ll be chopping a lot of them.

I first met Vinod Kumar Luthra on Thanksgiving Day 1967. I was at my boss’ house for Turkey Day and he had also invited three foreign students from Washington U. where I was a Law Student. Vinod and his two roomies, Bhoopinder Singh Mehta and Ashok Bhatia. They were graduate engineering students from India and they shared an apartment on Delmar Blvd. I was, at least in my memory, a somewhat frequent guest at their dinner table and certainly I cooked for them as well.

One memorable weekend was a 450 mile trip to visit my Mother and Father in Fiscus where Vinod and company cooked a full scale Indian meal for the Brue household and the local Baptist minister. Admittedly an odd detail for me to remember, except that Vinod and the Reverend talked about okra, its importance to Indian cuisine and the Minister calling Okra little slimys. Yes that and Vinod catching Mom trying to stir the rice and calling out, “No, Mum, never stir the rice.” Funny thing it is how we learn our cooking lessons. Now Hanna and Erik have taught me about fluffing rice after it has been cooked.

I’ve kept in touch with Vinod and Bhoopinder, not as much as I’d like but still enough that when Suzanne and I visited them in Rochester New York a few years ago we went with Vinod and Vinay to a birthday party attended by 59 Indian-Americans and two Westerners—actually Suzanne could have passed for a Punjabi but I was redeemed only when Bhoopinder made me an honorary Sardar, a title I still wear proudly although I am very rusty on turban wrapping.

During those days in St. Louis I taught my friends something about pork chops and they showed me a bachelor student’s version of Chicken Curry. I’ve re-created it four decades later and any deficiencies are solely my responsibility because their food was always delicious.

Even if you never try this recipe (but you should) adopt the onion chopping technique and share it with others. It’s guaranteed.




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