Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 38- Comoros (Moroni)(AF) Comoronian Chicken Curry (Poulet à L'Indienne) - Up Next, Congo (AF)

Teenagers anyone? Going cheap - will barter

Three great things happened this morning...
First, my tomatoes are officially in!

Marty and Jim - Whipping up homemade meatloaf and making it all look easy
Second, I had coffee and a teen parenting pep talk, with my strong-woman mentor, Marty, at Crivello's Crossing, a restaurant/bar, owned and operated by brothers, Jim (Marty's significant other) and Jeff Crivello. If you like real homemade cooking in a comfortable, neighborhood setting, this is the place for you. Thank you Marty - you have a way of cutting through all superficial stuff and setting me back on course. Jim your hospitality and kindness are greatly appreciated. Crivello's Crossing: 45 Depot Street, Milford, MA.

Next, I came home to find that my blog and interview had been posted on Public Radio Kitchen. Thank you to Mike Fubini, a WBUR Intern, and Susan McCrory, PRK's Director, for the opportunity and privilege of making WBUR's foodie blog! This is the coolest thing eva, eva, eva!

About the Country of Comoros
Comoros (Moroni)(AF): Slightly more than 12 times the size of Washington, DC, the country of Comoros is located in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Southern Africa, between northern Madagascar and Mozambique.

The Comoros islands have been settled, conquered, re-settled and re-conquered many times over the centuries. Cultural influences on this continent include African, Indonesian, Madagascan, Arabic and Portuguese. All these cultures have left their mark on Comoran cuisines. As a result Comoran cuisine utilizes many different types of spices and exotic ingredients as well as a new way of preparing rice steamed with spices, the usage of cloves, saffron, cinnamon and pomegranate juice.

A typical Comoran meal usually contains rice and meat, seasoned with one of the many locally produced ingredients like the wonderfully exotic spices of  vanilla, coriander, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Being an island nation the Comoros are also rightly famous for their fish dishes and stews made with lentils. The Portuguese introduced products from the New World to the islands and many dishes include ingredients such as bell peppers, maize, chillies, tomatoes, bananas, pineapples, limes and oranges.

Saffron, Cumin, Cardamom, cloves, ginger, garlic and hot peppers
Finding recipes took a little web surfing. This country is made up very remote islands, and there aren't a dearth of recipe links available. However, I did find several at the link above, and settled on a curry dish: cardamon, saffron, cumin, cloves and ginger - how could I go wrong?

Brown the chicken in a heavy pot
Cloves and Cardamom - crush the pods to reveal heavenly scented seeds
I'm just mad about Saffron - okay, it's a Donovan song, I'm dating myself
Give my Buddy Boy a treat - he's the only guy in the house who does what I ask him to without whining
The meal - served up on a bed of steamed rice, topped off with slivered almonds and garden cucumbers on the side
Comoronian Chicken Curry (Poulet à L'Indienne)

1 large chicken cut into serving pieces
2 onions, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
9"  length ginger, grated
8 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped (I used canned, because that's what I  had)
4 chillies, finely chopped
6 whole cloves
6 cardamom pods, crushed
1 1/2 C natural yogurt
1 tbsp ground cumin
Generous pinch of saffron
1/3 +Toasted slivered almonds
Salt and black pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:
Fry the chicken pieces in oil until golden brown then set aside. Place the onions, garlic and chillies in the pan and fry until the onion has softened. Add the cardamom and cloves and fry for a few minutes more. Return the chicken to the pan and add the tomatoes. Mix the yoghurt with the cumin and saffron and pour this mixture over the chicken mixture. Season with salt and pepper, cover tightly and simmer gently for 1 hour (add a little water if he mixture dries too quickly). Serve on a bed of rice, garnished with the toasted slivered almonds.

Final Assessment: I love the smell of the exotic spices: cardamom, saffron, cumin, which scent the kitchen with hints of distant lands. The juxtaposition of the coolness of the yogurt with the heat of the peppers was wonderful; closer to Indian cooking than much of the peanut-based African cooking we've been eating. The guys in my house thought it was good, but it didn't wow them. I say the Hell with them - it was good :)

1 comment:

Mary Trelease Beaudet said...

Again, another amazing looking meal! Love that you're able to use ingreds from your own garden, you pioneer woman you!
P.S. We really must get together and commiserate over the "moms of only boys" stuff! Our Newf, Charlie's the only one in my hse of guys that follows the no whining rule, too!...Hang in there!