I was so thrilled for the hot weather to finally break that I started to search through all my Pins for soups. Then Matty burst my bubble by reminding me that just because it was now 80 degrees instead of 100 degrees didn't mean that it was cold enough for soup.
Not to be deterred, I figured curry would be a good compromise. It's soup, but not really.
The original recipe was for a chicken curry shepherd's pie, with the curry being the filling, and mashed sweet potato replacing the mashed white potato topping of a traditional pie. I wasn't sure I'd like the textures, frankly, and I was even less sure of turning on the oven given my "cold weather" was really 80 degrees, so I just decided to cube up the sweet potatoes and throw them in the curry to cook. I used a full pound in tonight's dinner, but I think the ratio would be much better with only half as much, so that's what I've written below.
Making your own curry powder is a bit tedious, but you can't really argue with the results here. Intensely fresh and flavorful. The sweet potatoes were a good way to brighten the flavors, but if you want to stay earthy, I think regular white or yellow potatoes would be delicious as well.
Chicken Sweet Potato Curry
adapted from The Kitchn
For the chicken curry spice mixture:
3 large dried bay leaves
4 whole cloves
2 dried pasilla chiles
10 whole black peppercorns
2 t. cumin seeds
1 t. coriander seeds
For the curry:
2 T. coconut oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 1/2 c.)
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into to 2- to 2 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 c. unsweetened coconut milk
2 T. cashew butter
7-oz. can chopped tomatoes
8 oz. rainbow chard, sliced into ribbons
1/2 c. frozen green peas
salt, to taste
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
naan or rice for serving
1. Prepare the spices for the chicken curry: In a large, heavy pot or enameled cast iron skillet set over high heat, combine the dried bay leaves, cloves, dried chiles, peppercorns, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds and cook, shaking the pan, for 30 to 45 seconds, being careful that the spices do not burn. Transfer to a small food processor or grinder, and process into a fine powder. Set aside.
2. Make the chicken curry: Return the pan to high heat, add the coconut oil, and heat until the oil is fully melted and hot. Add the onions and cook, still over high heat, stirring until they are translucent and the edges are browned. Add the ginger and garlic, stir well, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the sweet potatoes and chicken, and stir to incorporate. Add the coconut milk, cashew butter, tomatoes, and the spice mixture, and stir well. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender, and the chicken is cooked through.
3. Add the chard, peas, and cilantro to the chicken curry, stir well to head through. Serve immediately, over rice or with naan on the side.