Unlike traditional Indian or Thai curry, Kuwaiti curry uses what I consider to be a more mild spice blend. It isn’t overly spicy or overly creamy and dense, but it still has a unique flavor and spice combination. It can easily be adjusted to be vegan/vegetarian by using tempeh (it’s delicious!) or made the traditional way with chicken (hence the name Curry Al Djaj-djaj being chicken in Arabic). It’s naturally paleo, but I always enjoy pairing it with cilantro turmeric basmati rice. It might not be for everyone, but at least you’ll get a real idea of homemade Middle-Eastern cuisine.
- 1 kg (2lb) organic boneless, skinless chicken (or tempeh for vegan/vegetarian)
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced and separated
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 hot chilli pepper, minced*
- 1 28oz can organic diced tomatoes*
- 2 tsp baharat (see recipe below)
- 1 tsp fresh or ground ginger
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 lime
- 2 small sticks of cinnamon (cassia) bark
- pink or sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- juice of 1 lemon
- ½ cup almonds*
- ½ cup raisins*
- Optional: pair with rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice or any side of your choice to serve the curry over. I personally love this with turmeric or saffron basmati rice.
Homemade Baharat Spice Blend:
- 1 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground cloves (or whole)
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cardamom
- For less spice, you can omit the chilli pepper and use an equal amount of bell pepper/capsicum.
- I used canned tomatoes with the liquid, but you could use large fresh tomatoes and water if preferred.
- Omit raisins or almonds if needed due to allergies or dietary preference. I personally left out the almonds and used half this amount of raisins.
- Large sauté pan
- In the pan, sauté the onion and garlic in coconut oil until transparent.
- Add the almonds (if using), baharat, ginger, turmeric, chilli powder, and hot pepper (if using) and stir for 1 minute.
- Add the chicken or tempeh and fry until brown on all sides.
- Add the raisins, canned tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes and water), lemon juice and bring to a boil.
- Add salt, pepper and cinnamon bark.
- Slice the lime in half, add the juice and the lime, then add in the 2 lime halves.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for 1 hour.
- Remove the cinnamon bark before serving and serve over rice or side of choice.