We wanted something that crossed borders for this blog recipe. I went down to the culinary team and asked them if they had anything using Native American ingredients that blended well with other trends. Immediately they showed me this concept they have been working on.
Curries are dishes typically found in India, but have been spreading out from there since the early 18th century. It’s thought that Indian merchants would pre-mix spice blends and sell them to the British Colonial army as they traveled back to Britain.
Curries have been on the rise in retail outlets all over the U.S., boasting a 19% penetration on menus. This rise in popularity along with our native american focus makes this dish a perfect blend of two very different regional staples.
Try this one out at home and if you like what you taste, come see what else our culinary team can dream-up for you.
1 small pumpkin or butternut squash, about 1 1/2 lb., halved, seeded, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
2 shallots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 can (13 1/2 fl. oz.) unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbsp Asian fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp. firmly packed light brown sugar
3 Tbsp corn or peanut oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size cubes
2 Tbsp slivered fresh basil, preferably Thai basil
Steamed rice for serving
Cook the pumpkin:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pumpkin and boil just until barely tender, about 7 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
Prepare the curry base:
In a blender, combine the shallots, garlic and curry paste with 2 Tbsp water and process until smooth. In a small bowl, combine the coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar.
Cook the curry:
In a wok or large fry pan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbsp of the oil. Add the chicken and sear until light brown on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a bowl.
Return the pan to medium heat and add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil. Add the curry base and cook, stirring, for about 10 seconds until fragrant. Stir in the coconut milk mixture and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and pumpkin, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a fork and the chicken is opaque throughout, about 5 minutes more.
Transfer the curry to a serving bowl, garnish with the basil and serve immediately with steamed rice. Serves 4.