Don't get me wrong. An Indian curry dish is heavenly when eaten with a hot naan bread. But sometimes I do find myself in unexpected situations where I can't find a good naan bread just after fixing myself an awesome curry dish. In the spur of the moment, I'll have this sudden urge to eat a curry dish without thinking about the accompaniment. So what better substitute to a missed out naan? Basmati rice......?
How about a nice hot and crisp baguette....with unsalted butter....Mmmmmh
Trust me, it is goooooood....
It's actually been an accidental and delicious habit which my parents have discovered when I was growing up in France. While my parents were working during the day, I used to stay with a French family who would get fresh baguettes at the local boulangerie everyday and would eat it on every occasion; breakfast, lunch, dinner...late snack, you name it. Soon enough, it became part of my family's daily routine, picking up a fresh baguette at the local boulangerie. After work, my parents would pick me up and prepare dinner. When curry was on the menu and we needed a change from our daily rice diet (or naan was not a well known commodity in Paris) my parents would reach out for the baguette. I remember my father tearing a piece of that hot and crisp bread, spreading unsalted butter on the warm piece, then dipping it in the curry and devouring it like someone who hadn't eaten in days. My mouth always salivated. I was introduced to this family tradition in my early years, have since stuck with it and brought it with me to Canada.
Ask anyone. Any stews or curry-like dishes are great with a good bread, whether it be naan or a baguette.
Preparation: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 15 minutes
Recipe "au pif" of Creamy Tomato Curry with Chicken:
about 1 lb or 5-6 boneless chicken upper thighs (chicken breast is also great) cut in big chunks 1 1/2 tbsp garam masala curry paste (homemade or I also like using Pataks' brand)
2 tbsp finely chopped scallions
2 small tomatoes pureed in a food processor
1 tbsp chicken concentrate (thicker than chicken stock - but oh so tasty)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup heavy cream (or 15% champetre cream, even plain soya milk will work)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
On medium-high heat, heat oil in a large pan. Stir in the scallions and the garam masala paste for about 1 minute.
Throw in the pieces of chicken and blend chicken well with the paste and until chicken is lightly brown, for about 1-2 minutes, but not completely cooked.
Stir in the tomato puree, chicken concentrate, water, peas. Cover and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Turn off eat. Remove lid and stir in the cream, to give it that velvety texture and extra flavour.
Let it sit for about 5 minutes for the flavours to blend in together.
Serve with a hot naan bread or hot warm crisp baguette and butter.
Serves 4 people.
I would love to hear from you about this wonderful cross cultural culinary experience!