I have that mid-January thing that always seems to sneak up on me…runny nose, sinus pressure, sneezy coughing fits. I’m not complaining, really, as winter is generally a season of slowing down for me anyways. I’ve really embraced these cold, white months in recent years. I’m grateful for all they offer – skiing, sledding, indoor soccer followed by brunch, leisurely girls’ nights with the best conversation, Hope and MSU basketball games and even a Griffins hockey game this past weekend. I also spend more time in the winter curling up with a good book, even more so when I’m sniffly. It likely won’t surprise you that, during my leisure reading time, you would often find me thumbing through cookbooks. Most recently I’ve been reading, learning and taking notes as I look through Zahav, What Katie Ate on the Weekend, Near and Far, The Kripalu Cookbook and the My New Roots Cookbook. I recently picked up Shauna Niequist’s Bread and Wine again, and I’m so glad I did. Her voice is like a hug from an old friend – we’ve never met, but I’m certain I’m not the only one who feels that way. This lovely book alternates between essay and recipe; her true love for food shines in a way that lets me know she is my kind of person.
This recipe is adapted from her Mango Chicken Curry recipe; the book notes she adapted it from Sally Sampson’s The $50 Dinner Party. I use coconut oil instead of olive, add turmeric, arrowroot and fresh jalapeño, modify quantities of some of the ingredients, give you the option of chicken or tofu, omit the currants and change up the liquid from all chicken broth to mostly coconut milk with a little chicken broth. I’ve never met a curry I didn’t like better with the addition of coconut milk.
I recognize the long ingredient list might make you feel a little nervous, but as Shauna points out, there’s nothing difficult about this recipe. It’s the perfect meal to make with a friend or your spouse – plenty of chopping to go around, and I really don’t think you could mess this up.
Mango Coconut Curry
3 TBSP flour
2 TBSP yellow curry powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1 1/2 – 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into small pieces OR one package of extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into small pieces
4 TBSP coconut oil – split
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 TBSP grated fresh ginger
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
1 TBSP arrowroot powder (cornstarch would work, too, or omit if you don’t have either)
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 large, just-ripe mango, pitted and diced
1 TBSP fresh lime juice
fresh cilantro, to garnish
fresh basil, to garnish
cooked brown rice, to serve
Before you start the curry – make sure you have rice cooked to serve. If not, get that going first on a back burner.
Whisk together flour, curry powder, sea salt, turmeric powder and cayenne powder in a medium bowl. Toss chicken pieces or tofu pieces into mixture and coat completely on every side. If you have a little mixture left over after all sides are coated, no worries, you can toss it.
Melt 2 TBSP of coconut oil in a pan capable of holding all of your chicken/tofu over medium heat. Cook chicken or tofu on one side until browned, about 5 minutes. Toss to other side, and cook for another five minutes, stirring occasionally. Check to ensure it’s cooked through, then set aside.
In a dutch oven or similar pot, melt your remaining 2 TBSP of coconut oil over medium heat. Add garlic, red onion, red bell pepper, jalapeño pepper and ginger together. Saute for 6 – 8 minutes, until soft. Add chicken/tofu to the pan with your veggies and lower the heat to medium-low.
Add coconut milk and stir. Add chicken stock and arrowroot powder and stir again. A note about the arrowroot powder – this is simply to thicken your curry. You can use cornstarch instead, and don’t worry if you don’t have either. This will still turn out great without it.
Once everything is mixed together and hot, turn heat to low, add tomatoes and mango and stir. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.
Serve over warm rice. Top with cilantro and basil as you wish. Enjoy!
I feel like I have to mention this is the first recipe on this site with a poultry option! I posted a great recipe for Fish Tacos with an Asian Flair once, and I’ll bring more fish recipes to this space. Since I so frequently post vegetarian or vegan recipes, you might assume I don’t eat meat. Not the case! I am picky about where I source our meat (we get most of it from local farms through a co-op), but I’m not picky about food in general. Some people have Meatless Mondays…you might say we have Meat Mondays and eat vegetarian the rest of the time. Just a note in case you were wondering!