curry 1Had enough turkey and chicken over the holidays? Or if you’re in Japan, maybe you’re tired of the traditional osechi food that you’ve had to eat the first few days of the New Year.

If so, here’s something a bit different you may want to try to spice things up a little — a curry recipe from the African island of Mauritius. Our reporter from our Japanese sister site Pouch gives us the following lesson in “curry à la Mauritius” (taught by a native Mauritian no less), and the resulting dish certainly looks good enough to feature in your next meal!

For those of you not familiar with the country, Mauritius is a democratic republic that forms part of the Mascarene Islands in Africa with an estimated population of just under 1.3 million, where English, French and Mauritian Creole are spoken. But why would they be eating curry on an island in Africa, you may wonder.

Actually, about 70% of the population in Mauritius is of Indian descent, so it’s no surprise that curry is a staple dish for them. At the same time, there also seems to have been some colonial European influence that has added some unique twists to the curry in Mauritius.

Here’s the recipe for a curry dish with a dash of cinnamon (and all the other necessary spices too of course) to bring you the taste and aroma of exotic Mauritius.

[Ingredients] (For 4 servings)
- About 8 pieces of chicken thigh
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp clove powder
- grated ginger (use a piece about one inch large)
- one clove grated garlic
- 1 Tbsp garam masala spice
- 1 Tbsp cumin powder
- 3 whole tomatoes (small to medium-sized, diced)
- 1 whole onion (chopped)
- 5 curry leaves (finely chopped)
- 1 can green peas (about 85g or 3 oz)
- one bunch coriander (pakuchi)
- oil (to preference)
- salt (to preference)

[Instructions]

1. Place chicken thighs in a suitable container, sprinkle with cinnamon powder and clove powder and leave at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

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2. Heat oil in a frying pan, then cook the chicken from step 1 on high until both sides are nicely browned.

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3. Place the garam masala, cumin powder, chopped curry leaves in a deep bowl, then add 100cc (about 3.5 oz) water and mix well.

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4. Place the chicken from step 2 again into a separate container.

5. Cook the chopped onions, grated ginger and grated garlic in a frying pan until they smell fragrant.

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6. Add the mixture from step 3 to the ingredients in step 5 and mix well on medium heat. Once mixed, add the meat juice from the chicken in step 4 (just the juice, not the chicken) and mix further.

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7. With the frying pan still on medium heat, add the diced tomatoes, then add salt to preference. (You may want to be careful not to add too much salt, just enough for the salty taste to be noticeable.)

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8. Add the chicken from step 4 and also the green peas to the combination from step 7, then cook for about 5 minutes on high heat.

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9. Chop the coriander coarsely, add to the mixture from step 8 and mix. The curry is now complete!

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It goes very well with Indian naan bread too.

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That doesn’t sound too difficult, does it? Of course, curry recipes are bound to vary from family to family, but this recipe was definitely one that stirred our reporter’s appetite with the tantalizing aroma of cinnamon and clove. The recipe doesn’t call for any unusual or difficult to obtain ingredients, so if you enjoy a bit of spice, we hope you mighty try making this curry yourself. And with curry, there’s always room for improvisation and culinary creativity — you may even want to make additions or adjustments and create your own original curry from this recipe. Happy Cooking, and enjoy!

Original Article and photos by: Felix Sayaka
[ Read in Japanese ]