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Chicken & mushroom curry

Curries remind me of traveling. No, I've never been to India, but I lived in Scotland for a year and let me tell you the Scots are crazy about their curry. I'm not just talking about proper sit down curry restaurants, although there are plenty of those. I'm talking about a curry take-away never being more than a stone's throw from a local pub (even though the pub probably has a curry on the menu), and bags of potato chips, or crisps, in a variety of curry-inspired flavours. Even fish and chips shops will offer to smother your chippies in curry sauce if you want them to. Och aye, in many parts of Scotland a curry is easier to find than a flock of sheep, and that's saying something. They even have the annual Scotland Curry Awards to prove their affection.

This chicken and mushroom curry is mild in heat yet so vibrant in flavour you'll be wishing you could drink the sauce right from the pot. Maybe you will, I won't judge. Try serving these big spoonfuls of tender chicken and mushrooms in an exotic tomato-based sauce over bowls of steaming rice. Och aye, this curry is a good 'un.

Here's how to make it:
Makes 3-4 servings

2 tbsp cooking oil
1-1/2 lb (675 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp grated ginger root
1 cup sliced white mushrooms
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 can (398 mL/13.5 fl oz) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup (125 mL) water
2 tsp granulated white sugar
Handful of cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)

Warm the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cut each chicken thigh into quarters and add to the hot oil, cooking 8-10 minutes until browned. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. In the pot, combine the onion, garlic and ginger and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, garam masala, fennel seed, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon. Continue cooking a couple minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the tomatoes, water and sugar. Return the chicken to the pot, along with any juices from the plate. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with cilantro leaves sprinkled on top.

Is curry part of your cooking routine? What foods remind you of traveling?