In a most awesome produce box from Frieda’s Produce there were some Dried Bird Chile Peppers tucked in. These little chiles pack a serious punch and are the perfect way to amp up a curry or stew. How could I resist?
A slight cautionary note – I always use plastic gloves when handling these little beauties because they are HOT. HOT. Like will make you feel crazed if they happen to get into a nail bed or small cut on your finger. The dried ones are not as tough to handle and one option is to grind them in a food processor and make your own chili flakes which is what I did. The cure for hot pepper burn on your hands can be found here. It’s my special Hungry Goddess formula (as in from experience).
I started this recipe (and my curry recipes) by braising chicken thighs. I like to get a nice crispy outside to the chicken thighs, even though they are skinless. Then I immediately go into a liquid-y slow cook mode. For those of you who use slow cookers, you can adapt this easily, I am sure. I just use a nice big pot on top of the stove. Mung Beans can be found in most supermarkets or check your local Indian grocery if you have one. That is where I get mine and they always cook up perfectly.
You can serve this alone or with brown rice, quinoa, freekeh or your favorite grain. Naan bread is also recommended for scooping up every delicious bite. If you don’t use the chicken, add another can of chickpeas and 1/2 cup of mung beans and use vegetable broth. This makes a great vegetarian dish.
Enjoy! And don’t forget to check out all of the cool specialty produce from Frieda’s – they have an amazing range of products and it arrives fresh to your door!
- 1 pack of 4-6 skinless (bone-in) chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 to 1 Dried Bird Chile Peppers – processed to rough powder or flakes
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 – 4 tablespoons of curry powder (Whole Foods has a good one & I get mine from the Indian Market)
- 1 cup of uncooked, split mung beans (rinsed)
- 1 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (have more on reserve if needed)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Yogurt or coconut milk is optional
- fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish
Heat oil in pan over medium to high heat. Season chicken thighs with curry, salt and pepper and place in pan. Brown on both sides. Lower heat to medium and add the onions and garlic. After a few minutes, add broth, tomatoes, curry and chile flakes. Bring to a low boil. Then add chickpeas and mung beans. Turn the heat to low and cook (stirring occasionally) for at least an hour or until the mung beans are cooked through. I usually leave it on the stove for 2-3 hours.
Cook with your palate – taste the spice level and use additional liquid, yogurt or coconut milk at the end to control the heat. I throw in a little butter because I like the flavor and layer it brings to this stew and curry dishes. Add more curry or turmeric or whatever spices will make the dish pop for you. You can add additional liquid to thin the stew and reach the consistency that you prefer. I find by the end that the chicken is falling off the bones so I remove the bones right before serving.
**I receive produce from Frieda’s to use in recipes. My opinions and recipes are 100% mine.