For the Hedda Hopper night‘s dinner, I was planning a whole feast of curries made with the lovely spice mixtures prepared before your very eyes at Rafi’s Spice Box in Sudbury. But on the morning of the day, an email popped into my inbox from one of my guests, entitled “Spice Alert” revealing that he wasn’t keen on super spicy food. No matter! I switched one of the Rafi’s dishes with my good old standby, Vincent Price’s Chicken Curry. This is an absolutely delicious curry, but doesn’t have any big chunks of chilli pepper, or even chilli powder, as many curries do. It is super mild, but still really tasty:
So if you are presented with a similar situation, or if you just fancy the type of curry we ate in the 1970s, right here in jolly old England, this one is for you. Alongside this we had Rafi’s Chana Masala, Rafi’s Mas Paratel, Battenberg Belle’s famous Tomato Curry, Mr Rathbone’s Tarka Dhal made to a Mridula Baljekar recipe, and Clive’s legendary homemade Onion Bhajis and Raita. What a FEAST! Here’s a bit of everything (except the Bhajis which were already scoffed) and all of it was delicious:
I LOVE a pot luck curry! If you ever feel a bit overwhelmed by the idea of cooking dinner for a crowd, when your chums ask: “can I bring something?” take them up on it!!
Stuff in brackets is from me, not Vincent!
Vincent Price’s Chicken Curry
3 lbs chicken breast, cut into small bite-sized pieces
½ cup cooking oil or butter (I am of the Julia Child school, and always use butter)
4 cloves garlic (we had lovely fresh garlic from Lucy and Greg’s vegetable patch)
4 medium onions, chopped
2 whole canned tomatoes, chopped (I used a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 cloves (I never put the cloves in, as I don’t like ’em!)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumn
1 teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon paprika (I use sweet paprika)
½ cup fresh coconut milk
In a heavy saucepan heat butter or cooking oil. Add garlic and onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until vegetables are golden. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, cinnamon and cloves. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the chicken meat and cook over high heat for 10 minutes, shaking pan occasionally, until most of the liquid in the pan has steamed off. Reduce heat.
Add salt, curry powder, pepper, cumin, coriander and paprika. Stir to mix the spices with the chicken meat, being careful not to let the spices burn.
Add 3 to 4 cups of water or enough to cover chicken meat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 35 minutes.
Before serving add coconut milk and heat gently.
Thanks Vincent, this is a WINNER!
Next time I go and visit my folks in Sudbury I’m going to make a pilgrimage to Rafi’s Spice Box and get one of these:
I’ll have a ponder about what film to watch… Any recommendations for a Silver Screen style Bollywood movie?
It was all delicious and a very enjoyable evening! But Jenny – I have to tell you that cloves are one of the many spices in the awesome tomato curry
YOU ARE KIDDING ME?! HA HA! I can handle them in small doses…
Thank you for publishing this recipe. My Mom used to make this curry back in the 60’s and it was one of my favorites.She got the recipe from the Vincent Price Cookbook,which unfortunately went missing after she passed away many years ago.
Hi Keith, yes, this is a great curry recipe. The book your mom had was probably The Treasury of Great Recipes. This is a truly fabulous cookbook and although original copies from the 1960s are very expensive, Vincent’s daughter has recently brought out a new version of the book. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Treasury-Great-Recipes-50th-Anniversary/dp/1606600729/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=treasury+of+great+recipes&qid=1593238983&sr=8-1 – Jenny