(not the view from our house)
A coconut-based curry sauce over some yogurt-marinated chicken would hit the spot. Served with a cooling raita as a side dish.
I boned some chicken thighs (since Dad doesn’t like to mess with bones—aren’t I a nice daughter?), and tossed them with yogurt, cumin, turmeric, garlic powder and black pepper. This would sit in the fridge for a few hours to marinate.
Next I made the sauce. It’s basically a béchamel, i.e a white sauce (interesting site about French sauces here), using coconut milk instead of milk, with the addition of other flavoring agents.
Start by roasting your dry spices: cumin, corriander, and curry powder. Cook them in an un-oiled saucepan for a few minutes over a medium heat, until they become very aromatic; it’s okay if they start to brown a little bit:
Next, add half a stick (1/4 lb.) of butter to the spices and let it melt.
Then add an equal amount (by weight—about 4 T) of flour, and whisk it into the butter. It should look more or less like this:
Cook this roux for several minutes, to get rid of the floury taste, and to further cook the spices. Next add, a little at a time, two cans of coconut milk, whisking continuously to avoid lumps.
I then further seasoned my sauce by adding a quarter cup dry sherry, a few tablespoons of oyster sauce and shoyu (soy sauce), and a few tablespoons of brown sugar. I also added about a half a cup of milk, as the sauce was too thick, and would further thicken as it cooked.
I let the sauce simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring it periodically so it wouldn’t burn.
Once the sauce was done, I turned off the heat. It would sit on the stove and be reheated right before service. Next for the raita.
Thinly slice cucumbers, salt them well (the salt draws out the water), and let them drain in a colander for about an hour.
Next, squeeze them dry in a cloth or paper towel.
Toss them with yogurt,
and then add cumin and black pepper to taste. (Don’t salt them—they’ll have plenty from the earlier salting.) Put them in the fridge until time to eat.
Back to the curry. About a half hour before dinner—it would have been earlier had they still had their bones—I popped the chicken thighs in a 350° oven.
I served the chicken with steamed rice (easy, since we have a rice-maker), and roasted baby bok choy (from the Hilo farmers market) drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.
I spooned sauce over the thighs and veg, and garnished the plates with chopped green onions. We had the raita separately, but I neglected to photograph it—sorry.