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The Hungry Nomad: Recipe: Chicken with Oyster Mushrooms and Saffron Curry

September 29, 2012

Recipe: Chicken with Oyster Mushrooms and Saffron Curry

One of my favorite restaurants in Vancouver and possibly the world is Vij's. Ask any Vancouverite and they will recommend it as one of the top places to dine. Who can resist the amazing Indian food and spices in one of the most innovative Indian restaurants? Even Anthony Bourdain had to get friendly with Vikram Vij on his No Reservations trip to Vancouver. Knowing that I am a big fan, a close friend purchased Vij's cookbook: VIj's At Home: Relax, Honey. The book is a lovely presentation of what Vij's family make at home including really informative facts on meats, poultry and spices. 

I am never one to stick to a recipe so every recipe that I have made from the book has been twisted around to represent my version. Here is Vij's recipe with the Hungry Nomad's Twist. Note that the recipe is located on page 170 of the cookbook.

1/2 cup cooking oil
2 1/2 lbs red onions (I use regular white onions)
6-7 chopped garlic (18 to 21 medium cloves)
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon turmeric
1/2 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoon paprika (optional)
3 1/2 lbs skinless chicken things, bones in
4 cups water
4 cups whipping cream
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced (I used oyster mushrooms unsliced)
1 Tablespoon dried green fenugreek leaves
1/4 teaspoon saffron (about 20 threads) in 1/4 cup hot water

My addition:

Served with: 
White basmati rice

Heat oil in a medium pot on medium-high for 1 minute. Add onions and saute for several minutes until onions turn a golden color. Reduce the heat to medium, add garlic and saute for 5 minutes, or until slightly colored. Stir in salt, turmeric, cayenne and paprika and saute for 1 more minute. Add chicken and cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes. Stir in 4 cups of water  and cream, increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. In a separate medium sized pan, heat oil for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add Okras. Remember to leave the head of the okra in tact. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and okra to the chicken. Just before serving, bring the curry to a light boil. Stir in fenugreek plus saffron and its soaking water. Serve with a side of rice.  

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