Curry sauce vs powder
May 15, 2017 4:18 PM   Subscribe

I want to make this recipe. I only have Madras curry sauce, instead of the powder in the ingredients list. Is this going to work, or should I just give up? What should I change about the recipe to make it work?
posted by dilaudid to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I haven't made this particular recipe but I can't think why this wouldn't work, assuming the curry sauce flavor profile is on point. You're just adding some extra liquid, so depending how hot the sauce is, add about half a cup, and cut back liquid elsewhere. Like take out a 1/4 cup of the coconut milk and half of an onion or so. You're making a pot pie filling -- it's very flexible.
posted by fingersandtoes at 4:34 PM on May 15, 2017

You can definitely make a tasty curry pot pie with the sauce, but it will probably taste different than the recipe intends and end up a bit thicker and goopier. Don't do a 1:1 swap on the amount of curry powder/paste - look at the back of your jar and use however much it suggests for 2.5 lb of chicken. Cut back the amount of water you add so that it doesn't end up too wet, looking at the photos on the recipe for reference. If the curry sauce already contains coconut milk, leave out or cut back the coconut milk addition at the end, again paying attention to the wateriness of the pot pie. Similarly, add the fish sauce 1 Tablespoon at a time and taste it to make sure it doesn't end up too salty.

For extra tastiness, sauté the lemon grass in oil for about 30 seconds before you add the chicken thighs and curry. If you were using powder, you should saute that too.
posted by asphericalcow at 4:34 PM on May 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh dude I am salivating, that recipe looks incredible.

I don't think you should give up! But your results won't be exactly the same. I think the key step of the recipe is when you cook the chicken with the curry powder. That toasts the spices and infuses the chicken's fat with flavor. It's important to cook the chicken without much liquid at this point so it browns and gets yummy. But if you were to use a liquidy sauce that would keep the chicken from browning. So instead brown the chicken and lemon grass without anything first, and then deglaze with the sauce. I'd cook that down a bit and then add the fish sauce.

I also don't know if your sauce has a bunch of other ingredients beyond the curry spices, like tomato and coconut cream and onion, which are all in the ingredients for the first commercial madras curry sauce result when I googled it. If your sauce has all this extra stuff in it, that's going to really change the flavor of the resulting dish. However, I don't think it would be bad! The recipe has coconut milk in it, so if your sauce has coconut in it, maybe reduce or remove that additional ingredient. And add less water when cooking the carrots, since you'll have more liquid to begin with.

You could also marinate the chicken in some of the sauce first if you have the time/aren't making this tonight. That might get the flavor to work into the chicken better, but it also will make it harder to brown in the first step.
posted by Mizu at 4:39 PM on May 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

Oooh that sounds so delicious! I would swap out the coconut milk with your curry sauce cup for cup and maybe start with 1/4 c of fish sauce and taste it. If it needs more salt, add more fish sauce, but canned sauces tend to be on the salty side so do overdo it.

Since it's baked I think the chicken will pick up the sauce flavors just fine, even if you don't marinate.
posted by ananci at 12:39 PM on May 17, 2017

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