I have learnt this curry stew from an Armenian banquet chef when I was very young. I simply couldn't resist the dish after a wedding party and called the banquet to ask about the curry stew. I can't believe that the chef got on the phone and kindly gave me the recipe just like that.
I have so many family and friends who ask for this dish all the time. The curry stew is a luscious treat for spicy food lovers.
The main ingredient in this dish is yogurt and if you have not cooked with yogurt before, this is a good opportunity to bring up that cooking with yogurt needs gentle heat. I emphasize again, keep the heat on medium to low because this is not a stew that can look like the witches brew!
2 lb. plain whole milk greek style yogurt
1lb. plain whole milk strained yogurt
6 tbsp curry powder, (recommended: Ship Madras Curry Powder)
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
3/4 cup tomato paste, sautéed in 1 tbsp olive oil for 2 minutes
2 large eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, small diced
1 lb. roasted or rotisserie chicken, deboned, large diced
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 cups of chicken broth or water
1 tsp powdered saffron, dissolved in 2-3 tbsp of hot water
1) In the main cooking pot, heat the olive oil on medium-high and add the diced onions. Season with salt and sauté until lightly golden about 5-7 minutes. Add in tomato paste the chicken pieces and continue sauté for 2-3 minutes.
2) Add in the broth over onion and chicken mixture and bring it to a gentle simmer (not boil).
3) Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the regular yogurt, strained yogurt, curry powder, cayenne pepper, eggs and whisk until combined and smooth. Set aside.
4) Once the onion & chicken mixture is simmered, transfer the yogurt mixture into the pot in three batches, mixing and stirring every time. This will help to temper the yogurt slowly into the broth to prevent any curdling. Finally, Add in dissolved saffron and stir to mix.
5) Simmer uncovered on low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally (every 10 minutes). Keep a close eye until it’s done. Yogurt sinks to the bottom of the pot and burns easily. Stir the stew gently by a long utensil that reaches all the way to the bottom of the pot. Serve hot over steamed basmati rice.
- Strained yogurt is sold at middle-eastern market by other names such as: "yogurt cheese or labne".
- If strained yogurt its not available, make it yourself or skip and replace it with sour cream in the recipe.
- Ideally, curry stew is made with soured yogurt. This is en easy process and could be done by sticking half a slice of white bread on top of the yogurt and keep it refrigerated for two days. Remove the bread before using the yogurt for the stew.
- Feel free to leave the tomato paste out and you will still have a delicious golden curry stew.