In my mother’s house and in my grandmother’s, One Hundred Almond Curry was always regarded as one of the great festive dishes because of the double extravagance of chicken and almonds. The idea seems quaint now, when chicken is an everyday food both here and in India, and especially in a place like California, where almonds can be used in heedless abundance. Because it’s inauspicious to count things out in even numbers, the masala for this curry always has an extra almond added to it, just like the extra rupee added to even-numbered cash presents for weddings and such. The masala or curry paste is made with spices that are roasted first, to give them a deeper, darker flavor and color than the same ingredients ground without roasting. I like to use chicken thighs because the meat remains succulent and you don’t have to worry about breasts drying out before legs are cooked through. Of course, our house is one where a chicken with six legs and no breasts would be the perfect bird.
This curry can be made with eggs instead of chicken. Follow the recipe instructions, simply leaving out the chicken and adding 1 or 2 small hard-boiled eggs per person in the last few minutes. For a vegan version, use vegetables like cauliflower, eggplant, and pumpkin, singly or in combination.
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