You know you’re still new to this whole blogging thing when you hit “Publish” accidentally and send your subscribers an incomplete blog post. Apologies for those who got lured into thinking there was a new recipe yesterday! But perhaps on some very small level you were excited about this post? A little?
Anyhoo, let’s talk about onions today! When it comes to onions, I have mostly found two types of people exist in this world: those who really really LOVE onions to the point where they must have them with every meal and those who LOATHE onions with every fiber of their being. I used to be in the “loathe” category for most of my life. This probably wouldn’t have been a big issue if onions weren’t so integral to Indian cooking. So when I first started my cooking adventures a few years ago, I decided that I would try my hand at recipes with onions and hope for the best.
I don’t know if this holds true for everyone, but I find that when you start cooking your own food, your taste buds are a lot more forgiving. Maybe it’s the hard work you put into cooking that brings out the willingness to eat things like beets, cauliflower and onions. Eventually, after cooking a few dishes with onions, my taste buds adapted and I began to enjoy them!
Don’t get me wrong, you won’t EVER catch me eating raw onion slices with my biryani, but cooked onions and onions submerged in yumminess like raita or this Tamarind Coconut Chicken Curry, is more my speed. You can substitute chicken with chickpeas or really any protein of your choice in this recipe! It doesn’t matter much because this is seriously all about the delicious oniony, tangy, coconuty gravy!
- 2 boneless & skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup of cut green beans, frozen or fresh
- 1 large yellow onion (or 2 medium), chopped
- 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
- 2 1/2 Tbsp of tomato paste
- 1/4 tsp chili powder (I use a little more because I <3 spicy!)
- 1/4 tsp salt (for marinating) + more salt to your taste (for gravy)
- 2 cups of water + more water in case you want to adjust gravy thickness
- 1 Tbsp oil (I used coconut oil)
- Place cut chicken cubes and 1/4 tsp salt into a mixing bowl. Mix the salt and chicken cubes with your hands or a spoon to coat chicken. Place the bowl in the fridge until we get to the step of adding them to our gravy.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add the tamarind paste and 3/4 cup of water (don't bother mixing) and heat on high for 1 minute. Using a spoon or a small whisk, mix the tamarind paste into the water until completely dissolved.
- In a blender, add the shredded coconut and tamarind solution and blend until it turns into a paste and the coconut has broken down more. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large sauce pan or pot over medium heat.
- Add chopped onions and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the chili powder and saute for about 1 minute.
- Add the tomato paste, coconut-tamarind paste and 1 1/4 cups of water into the saucepan and mix until the pastes have totally integrated into the water. The consistency should be that of a thick gravy.
- Add salt to your taste (I used about 1/2 tsp). Mix the gravy and bring to a low boil.
- When you start seeing bubbles, add the cubed chicken and mix into the gravy. Cover and cook on medium heat for 4 minutes. Try not to open the lid too much so the chicken has time to cook through.
- After 4 minutes, remove the lid and mix in the green beans and cook for 3 more minutes uncovered. At this point if you notice the gravy drying out too much, add a little more water. Ideally the gravy is still thick and not too watery.
- After 3 minutes, or after the chicken and beans have cooked, turn the heat off and let stand for about 5 minutes.
- Serve hot with your choice of grains or roti!