Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Sweet and Spicy Chicken Curry

"The final color will depend on what kind of chiles you use."

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

I love big holiday meals as much as the next guy—pass the mashed potatoes and macoroni and cheese please!—but that's just not the way I usually eat during a normal week. My wife and I honestly go through spice and citrus withdrawal when we head home to visit our families. There is something about the balance of chiles and citrus that sets off some brain receptor that calms my soul.

For our first meal back, I whipped up this quick and fiery Indian curry from Food & Wine just to set everything right with the world. With heat from both dried and fresh chiles, the spicy dish is appropriately hot while also being layered and complex. I initially wondered if the coconut milk would make the dish too heavy, but thankfully there is just enough lemon juice added at the end to cut through the thick sauce.

The final color will depend on what kind of chiles you use. While the original recipe calls for some small fresh red chiles—which would have colored the dish a dark red—all I could find at the last minute were some serranos which made the final color a muted green (but the flavor was right).

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