Curry Can Cure the Common Cold
When it is impossible for our family to gather at Christmas, we have found other ways to get together. With our collected flying miles, we bought tickets to Denver and spent three days in mid January with our daughter’s family in Boulder, Colorado. Next month, we will meet our youngest daughter and her husband in France. It somehow works out.
When we visit our daughters, we are always treated to good food. They cook and bake just like me, each adding their own flair and flavors. And the longtime son-out-laws who are now in-laws bring their game as well. Several years ago, when we were out in Colorado, Emily served us a delicious sweet potato coconut Thai curry. I had a lot of fun working beside her in the kitchen, chopping vegetables and prepping, chatting away, while she assembled the meal together. The smells coming from the stovetop were delicious, and when it was time to sit down and eat, a huge pot of rice sat on the table alongside a steaming bowl of curry. Scattered around in smaller bowls, toppings for the curry added texture and flavor. And if the heat was not enough, you could always add some to your liking from the big bottle of sriracha sauce in the middle.
What I remember about that meal was how the food not only warmed me internally and externally, but how, in the middle of a snowy January, that curry made me feel. It was good. It was comforting. It provided nourishment of the body and the soul. And the flavors lingered long after the meal ended. When I got back to Goshen, I texted Emily and asked for the recipe. I made it several times during that winter, and we loved it. This year, when I went to look for the recipe, I couldn’t find it. So I had to come up with a new version. I think it comes close to the original and it is so tasty.
And when we visited Colorado this year, Emily served us another chicken curry, just as good as the last one. Even though I have been trying to stick to one serving at mealtime, I let my guard down and had two.
These past few days, since our return, we have had some sickness in the house, as many of you have had. These spicy foods seem to help clear out the head and the nose and yet they are soothing. I highly recommend a good curry for a tough cold or congested head. Add some soothing hot tea to keep your fluids high and this might be as good as chicken noodle soup…
Here is the recipe I used most recently.
Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Chicken
2 to 3 T. olive oil
½ large onion, chopped
2 large chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 T. fresh ginger, grated
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground turmeric
½ t. ground coriander
a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, as desired
ground pepper to taste
4 T. lime juice
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. fish sauce (optional)
2 T. Catsup
1 can coconut milk
1 c. vegetable broth
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 bay leaves
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
3 to 5 c. cooked jasmine rice
For topping: fresh cilantro, shredded coconut, fresh basil
Heat a deep frying pan over medium high heat and add olive oil. Then add the onion and fry until translucent. Add the chicken and stir fry until just brown. Stir in the garlic and the ten spices that follow. Coat the chicken and continue frying until the garlic is cooked through. Add the coconut milk and broth and the sweet potatoes. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue cooking until they are soft and the chicken and potatoes are tender, another 10 minutes or so. Serve with rice and top with toasted shredded coconut, fresh cilantro and fresh basil. Four to six servings.