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Mauritian Lunch Menu

Mauritian Curry Lunch

. . . . and brown uniformly on all sides.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium sized onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or chili powder to taste)
3 teaspoons curry powder
1 pound chicken meat (light and dark can be used), diced into 1 - inch cubes
2 - 3 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or water
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup plain yogurt (optional)

for the boiled basmati rice
4 - 5 cups of water
1 1/2 cups of basmati rice
Heat the oil in a large skillet with high sides or a Dutch oven.
Add the onion, garlic, ginger and cook until onion is soft and translucent.
Cook on medium low heat for 5-10 minutes.  This cooks out the bitterness from the curry.
Add the cumin, coriander, garam masala, chili powder, turmeric, salt and curry powder.
Add bay leaves. Gradually add 1 and ½ cups of chicken stock or water.  Stir well and bring liquid to boil.  Cover the pan and simmer on low heat for about an hour until the meat is cooked through, tender and until the sauce thickens to form a rich gravy.  
Adjust salt if necessary. Optionally you may add 1/4 cup of plain yogurt if you like, stirring well into the mixture.
Transfer the chicken to the serving dish over the basmati rice and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
preparing the Basmati Rice

In large pot bring water to boil. Add approximately 1 teaspoon of salt. Put basmati rice in a sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold running water.
Transfer the rice into the boiling water and stir to prevent rice sticking from to bottom of the pot. Boil for about 15 minutes. Rice is ready when it is just soft to chew throughout. Drain rice in sieve and rinse again with hot water. Place in a serving dish to be served hot at once.
Add water when necessary to avoid the curry drying up in the pan.  Your goal is to cook the meat well and retain enough liquid to form a sauce.
Add the chicken cubes . . . .
Serve the Chicken Curry together with
the lentils,
the spinach and watercress,
the tomato chutney,
and the cucumber chutney.
Chicken Curry
with Basmati Rice

Recipe by Vanessa Bathfield