Friday, February 4, 2011


Mauritius (not to be confused with Mauritania) is a small island in the Indian Ocean. Its economy is doing relatively well for sub-Saharan Africa, and the government advertises the island as an excellent tourist destination, especially for honeymooning couples. Because of its location, the influences on its cuisine are diverse; the major ones are French, Indian, and Chinese.

I decided to go for a curry. My only real experience was with Burmese curry, which I liked a lot. This was different in that most of the flavor came from packaged curry powder from the international section of Shopper's instead of a paste of onions, garlic, and fresh ginger. I went for the Asian style curry powder, but I'm sure it would have been better to make it from scratch. All in all, I didn't love this. It was hotter than I wanted it to be, and I'm pretty sure I couldn't have eaten it without the recommended sour cream. But for all that it was hot, I didn't find it that flavorful. Probably just a function of the recipe, and I will say that what coworkers I could get to try the leftovers all said it was very good curry. Still, I won't be making this again.

Mauritian Chicken Curry

2 tsp olive oil
1 large brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger (I used dried)
1 tsp cumin seeds (I used dried)
1 tbs finely chopped coriander stem
30g-60g (1/4-1/2 cup) Keen's Curry Powder (I stuck to the lower end, and my brand is La Flor)
10 fresh curry leaves (I couldn't find these, so I left them out)
500g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 2cm pieces
1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
400ml water
2 large potatoes, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
Light sour cream, to serve
Steamed rice, to serve
1 bunch fresh coriander, sprigs picked

Heat oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Cook the onion, garlic, ginger and cumin seeds, stirring often, for 4 minutes or until soft and aromatic. Add the coriander stem and cook for 1 minute. Add curry powder and curry leaves. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic.

Add the chicken and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until browned slightly. Stir in the tomato and water.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the potato and simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. Season with salt. Serve with rice, sour cream and coriander sprigs

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