Metal Recipes: Curryptopsy

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And then you’ll beg (for more).

Last time we did food dorkery it was spice blends… I think. Memory like a freaking sieve here. Today let’s get back to an actual dish, one that’s stupidly easy and cheap BUT is fancy enough to serve to guests. If you live in an apartment building, you’ll have the added benefit of torturing your neighbors – in a friendly or unfriendly manner, depending on your circumstances – with the glorious aroma. An aroma that, by virtue of the recipe being for the slow cooker, will be going on all day. All. Damn. Day.

I’m talking, of course, about curry. Everyone loves curry. Those who don’t are Jeff Sessions, because he don’t hold with foreigner food. Or He Who Likes His Steak Well Done and With Ketchup, An Impeachable Offense. There is almost nothing to dislike about curries: they’re healthy, infinitely malleable, a great vessel for creativity, intensely satisfying, and run the gamut from beginner to expert level. “Curry” itself translates more or less to “gravy,” so to clarify, today we’re dealing with Indian curry. Or more like Indo-British curry, since the latter invented this one. This is how you do butter chicken, that perennial restaurant favorite.

I should note that this is not Lord Worm approved. Nor Flo nor any other member (and for the record, Matt is a perfectly good vocalist). It’s just that Cryptopsy is pretty great and their name fit well.

Disclaimers: as said before, you need a slow cooker for this. You also need time, because while you only have to actively do something for about 15 minutes of this, you can’t rush this. You can do it on a weeknight but it’s easiest on a weekend. Start it Saturday night, have a nice Sunday dinner. And in case you haven’t had it and the name isn’t an indication, this is not for those on a low-fat diet. It’s not county fair or baseball park-level fatty, but if you’re unfortunate enough to be avoiding butter, well… shit, I feel quite bad for you

But in all seriousness, this is so stupidly easy you really do need it in your arsenal. If you’re vegetarian, you know what to do to make it acceptable to your herbivorous palate.

Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken)

Cost: <$10

Feeds: 4-8

Total Time: 18-24 hours

Active Time: a very short death metal album, a full grind album, one-quarter to one-third of a black metal album, and let’s not even both speculating with post-metal

Ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2” fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 medium-size fresh chile of choice, minced
  • 2 – 2.5 lbs skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 – 1.5” pieces
  • 2 (14 oz apiece) cans tomatoes*
  • ¼ c heavy cream
  • 1 c yogurt (regular or Greek, good either way)
  • 2 T lemon or lime juice
  • 4 t kosher salt
  • 3 t cumin
  • 2 t coriander
  • 1 t cayenne (yes, really. Trust me)
  • 3.5 t paprika**
  • 2 t turmeric
  • ⅛ t cinnamon
  • ⅛ t chile powder
  • 2 t fenugreek leaves (optional; they’re generally only available in dedicated spice shops)
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 1.5 t garam masala
  • 2.5 T butter
  • Generous pinch of brown sugar
  • Fresh cilantro (for garnish)
  • Sliced lime (for garnish)
  • Sesame seeds (for garnish)

*You can choose whichever style you like- puree, diced, whole, crushed. I generally go with one of puree and one of crushed.

**Regular paprika, please and thank you, NOT the smoked Spanish variety. The latter is awesome, just not for this.

Instructions

PHASE 1 (previous night):

  1. Mix yogurt, lemon juice, 4 t salt, 1 t each of cumin, coriander, and turmeric, and 1/2 t of the cayenne together in bowl.
  2. Score each piece of chicken 2-3 times, then combine with marinade in a large resealable plastic bag (gallon size). Marinate 2-10 hours in fridge.
  3. Mix onion and 1 T butter/oil and add to slow cooker. Cook for 8-10 hours on Low (this is the easy and just-as-good way to caramelize onions, FYI).
  4. Prep ginger, garlic, and chile. Mix together and store in fridge.
  5. Sleep.

PHASE 2:

  1. Reset slow cooker to High. Remove cover and cook onion 1 hour more, stirring occasionally (not more than once every 10 minutes or so).
  2. Remove chicken from marinade and add to slow cooker, along with the rest of the butter, and all other base ingredients except garam masala, cream, and fenugreek.
  3. Mix contents of slow cooker together, cover, and cook for 7-8 hours on Low, or 4-5 hours on High.
  4. When slow cooker cycle finishes, taste and adjust salt. Add garam masala, fenugreek leaves, and cream, stir gently, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve with basmati rice, garnishes, and sides of choice (naan and Israeli salad are hard to beat).
  6. Eat. EAT.

NOTES

  • For truly good, worth-eating rice, do the following. Cook it with a little coconut oil or butter. Once it’s cooked, stir in a small pinch of cardamom, a small pinch of salt, and some frozen peas (about ½ c peas per 2 c cooked rice), then cover and let it sit 10-15 minutes. You’re welcome.
  • Do not swap out the cream for yogurt, as the latter is too tart. You need the tartness of the yogurt for the marinade (the acid tenderizes the meat) and that’s it.
  • Regular butter is fine, ghee isn’t necessary.
  • If using store bought garam masala, you may need more; mine was a freshly made batch and thus stronger.
  • Chicken thighs are necessary; breasts may dry out.
  • For even more richness or to save money, use bone-in thighs and remove the bones before serving.
  • I doubt the heat level as is should be a problem for anyone; if you’re paranoid, you can swap out the cayenne for paprika or (fair warning: the following is speculation, untested) a pinch of cocoa or cacao powder.
  • If you want more heat, I suggest adding another chile rather than any more powdered spices. An Ancho or Guajillo, or any dried chile really, added during either low cycle, would work well.
  • This dish is somewhat differentiated from traditional murgh makhani. Differences include heavier use of turmeric in marinade; hence, the coloring is more orange, and the turmeric lends a slightly woodier, more earthy undertone. The heavier use of paprika is reminiscent of rogan josh, which is AWESOME, one of the best Indian dishes out there, but harder to make well.
  • The sauce will thicken upon refrigeration. If you like, add 1/4 c water before refrigerating or before reheating.
  • And on that note, try and make sure you have leftovers. Good as it is fresh, curry is one of those dishes (like pizza; fight me) that is often better the next day. In this particular case it’s because the spices have even longer to bloom.

(Photo VIA)

  • Butts4Gutts

    “Score each piece of chicken 2-3 times, then combine with marinade in a large resealable plastic bag (gallon size). Marinate 2-10 hours in fridge.”

    What does “score” mean precisely?

    • Joaquin Stick

      Write a musical accompaniment for the piece (of chicken)

      • Guacamole Jim

        Have consensual sex with the piece (of chicken)

        • Wet W’s Whistle

          Throw the piece (of chicken) into a basket.

          • Butts4Gutts

            You’re all animals.

          • HessianHunter

            Don’t forget to also keep track of how many times the chicken was successfully put into the basket!

          • Howard Dean

            @yourlogicsucks:disqus @disqus_77PBSiK8Ug:disqus @disqus_kqxyUNPxty:disqus

            This is the kind of snark that allows me to get out of the bed in the morning. Well done, sirs!

          • Joaquin Stick

            It was a team effort. We came in with the strategy, executed, and luck was in our favor today. With enough focus and determination, you can accomplish anything. Praise be.

          • ME GORAK™✓ᶜᵃᵛᵉᵐᵃⁿ

            GORAK ONLY REGRET NOT HAVE MOAR DISQUS ACCOUNT TO UPVOTE!!!!!!!!!!
            http://i.imgur.com/2Rsl2E5.gif

          • Brutalist_Receptacle

            GEORGE LLIKES HIS CHICKEN SPICY

    • tigeraid

      Slice the meat of the chicken, but very shallow, just to allow the marinade below the surface without cutting the meat much.

      • Butts4Gutts

        Thanks! Making this on the weekend. Will post pics in the FB group if it turns out well.

  • ANTIGAMA!!

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      VINDALOO!

  • Señor Jefe El Rossover

    Heck yes! Hail the mighty President Poutine! I’m adding this to our menu this week.

  • tigeraid

    This is quality content as always, comrade.

  • Very cool recipe Vlad, curry is delicious and my attempts at making it have been subpar. Also naan is always tasty.

  • Joaquin Stick

    Yo Vlad, my slow cooker is a POS and i’d rather not leave it caramelizing onion over night. Can I just do the marinade the day before, then the next day do a slow saute on the onion to caramelize, then dump in the slow cooker for that extra hour and pick up from there?

    • Sure can! The overnight onions bit is just laziness. But hold off on the garlic and ginger until the last few minutes of the sauté.

  • Lord of Bork

    I’ve been looking for slow cooker recipes to add into my rotation. I’ll be throwing down on this one this weekend instead of my usual quinoa chili.

    • Joaquin Stick

      Speaking of chili, I just made one this weekend where I made a chili pepper paste out of some dried chilies instead of using powder. Also added an entire Mexican beer. Would recommend.

      • Lord of Bork

        That sounds fantastic – Tecate? Dos Equis?

        A feel like a Toilet-wide chili festival is in order to see what kind of ridiculous shit we’ve got cooking.

        • Joaquin Stick

          I think one of the Texans might have me beat. It’s in their blood.

          I was planning on using Modelo, but instead went the cheap route and found a 32 oz Sol, so I bought one of those and had a few extra ozs for myself instead of buying a 6 pack.

          • Lord of Bork

            I’m less interested in winning than in getting some free chili recipes

          • Brutalist_Receptacle

            There is no real difference. Both are mass-produced North American-style, Mexican lagers.

    • Howard Dean
      • Lord of Bork

        Dafuq did I just read?

        • Sid Vicious Promos

          I’d rather not know.

        • Howard Dean

          Long Pork: It’s what’s for dinnah!

  • Sid Vicious Promos

    Yay, curry! I love curry.

  • Sid Vicious Promos

    Have any of you ever had brickle? It’s comprised of a saltine cracker base with chocolate and Heath bar pieces on top. It’s very good.

    • Joaquin Stick

      Classy AF.

      • Sid Vicious Promos

        It’s a very good dessert. Same goes with the peanut butter cookies with the Hershey’s Kiss on top.

  • The Poutine is baaaaaack!!!

  • HessianHunter

    These things are always very detailed but no-bullshit. I love it. The spice article inspired me to get some berbere and start trying to make Ethiopian food. We have a ton of East Africans in Minneapolis and their food rules but I’m poor so I want to start making it instead of eating out every week.

  • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

    “Good as it is fresh, curry is one of those dishes (like pizza; fight me) that is often better the next day”

    I know! GOD BLESS YOU, POUTINE, GOD FUCKING BLESS YOU!

  • Hans Copronym

    No one will fight you on the FACT (!) that day-old pizza is awesome.

    Also, forgive me for this, but
    IF YOU AVOIDIN’ BUTTER I FEEL BAD FOR YOU SON
    I GOT 99 PROBLEMS BUT a dairy product containing up to 80% butterfat AIN’T ONE

  • Dumpster Lung

    Gotta actually try this when my fridge is completely fixed and I feel safe buying ingredients and meat and all that.

  • J.R.™

    If Trump and Sessions want my vote the second time around they can give me all the curries and curry related food accessories they do not want

  • KJM, Drug Honkey

    Mac & Cheese is also better when it’s “aged”.

  • Waynecro

    Cryptopsy >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> curry

  • Shakes 999

    I did a electrical remodel for one of the best curry places in Austin when I lived there and the owner swore by cooking the chicken with the bones still in as it adds another level of flavor. Worth noting.