9-Boy Chicken Curry Condiments

Curry powder

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  • Total: 2 hrs
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Yield: Serves 2 with leftovers.

During the British colonial period, the curry was served with an array of condiments such as bananas, peanuts, and chutney. Each condiment was served by a different servant: a "boy." Consequently, the more condiments you offered, the more boys you could afford and the higher your status, so a 10-boy curry was more prestigious than a 5-boy curry.

The condiments can be anything that appeals to you, and the idea is that each bite of curry is different from the last providing a kaleidoscope of flavors and tastes. I find that sweet flavors are particularly good with curry, but salty and savory flavors are also delicious.

Like many such dishes, it's better the second day so make leftovers.


  • 4 chicken thighs (boneless, skinless, cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 inch ginger (sliced thin)
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper (seeded and minced)
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • For the Spice Mixture:
  • 1 cinnamon stick (crumbled)
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • For the Toppings:
  • Optional: diced banana (1/2-inch dice)
  • Optional: diced pineapple (1/2-inch dice)
  • Optional: sliced scallion (1/4-inch rounds)
  • Optional: coconut flakes
  • Optional: tart orange marmalade chopped or tangerine segments
  • Optional: bacon (chopped)
  • Optional: raisins
  • Optional: nuts (peanuts and cashews are good)
  • Optional: mango chutney

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. With exhaust fan running, add spice mixture and cook, constantly stirring to prevent burning, for five minutes.

  2. Reduce heat to medium-low, add onion, garlic, and jalapeno and continue cooking for two minutes. Add chicken, water, and vinegar, reduce heat to very low, cover, and simmer for 90 minutes. Add coconut milk and heat thoroughly.

  3. Serve over basmati rice with toppings of choice.

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