I hope everyone’s hungry, because I have more curry for you to try while you work on your Galar Pokédex!
Because Galar is Great Britain, obviously we have to do tikka masala, the most British of all curries. Legend has it that the dish was created by immigrant Bangladeshi chefs out of two previously unrelated traditional dishes – chicken tikka, which in its natural state is chicken with a spice rub, grilled on a skewer; and masala sauce, a smooth, relatively sweet curry sauce made with pureed tomatoes and cream (more commonly dairy, but coconut is an acceptable variation). These days, chicken tikka masala is normally made by marinating the chicken in yoghurt and spices, then grilling it before making the sauce.
If we do this with coconut cream, I think we can claim it as a version of the “coconut curry” from Sword and Shield. The games’ coconut curry is a pale yellow-brown colour with red chunks that could be tomato – in tikka masala, tomato is supposed to be a prominent flavour in the sauce, so I’m going to blend it to get the rich orange colour that tikka masala normally has, but if you want something closer to what we see in Sword and Shield, you could easily skip that step and leave the tomatoes whole. “The milk’s sweetness and richness raise this curry to a stage above most others,” claims the currydex – let’s see if we can match that.
Galarian Spicy Coconut Curry Recipe
Chicken and marinade:
150-200g chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
¼ cup plain yoghurt
2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2cm fresh ginger, grated
½ tsp garam masala (a spice mix similar to curry powder, but sweeter; most big supermarkets should have this)
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp coriander
- Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Add the chicken pieces and mix so they are coated with the marinade.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least two hours, preferably overnight.
- In principle, we should now grill the chicken on skewers. I don’t have a grill, so I’m going to preheat my oven to 220 ºC (430 ºF), lay my skewers over a lined baking pan and bake the chicken for 15 minutes (you want the pieces to be slightly blackened at the edges).
1 shallot or ½ a small onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2-3 cm fresh ginger, grated (1 tsp of ground ginger will do if you can’t get it fresh)
2 tomatoes, quartered, with seed goop removed
¾ cup coconut cream
1 tbs tomato ketchup
(same mix as in the chicken marinade)
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp coriander
45g (approx.) mushrooms (3 or 4 small ones), thinly sliced (these aren’t a core ingredient of tikka masala, but the games’ coconut curry has some mysterious brownish lumps in it that look a bit like chunks of cooked mushroom to me)
45g (approx.) broccoli (or any other vegetable, really – peas and/or carrots would be very on-theme and are common accompaniments for tikka masala)
Because we’re claiming this as an interpretation of the spicy coconut curry, I’m also putting in ½ tsp of a moderate-strength chilli powder, but you’re free to leave that out, or adjust to your own spice tolerance.
- Same basic deal as last time: finely chop shallot; crush or finely chop garlic; grate ginger. Fry gently in butter or oil until the onions begin to brown.
- Add spices and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add tomato and coconut cream, then bring to a boil and cook until the tomato pieces are mushy.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, then blitz the sauce in a food processor until smooth.
- In the same pan as before, add a little more oil and fry the mushrooms for 1-2 minutes.
- Return the curry sauce to the pan, add the chicken and broccoli and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Just like last time, serve with 1/3 cup of rice, boiled in about 1 cup of water with ½ tsp of salt, then drained and tossed with ½ tsp of turmeric to get the golden colour of the rice in the game. I have found since last time that adding the turmeric to the water when boiling the rice also works and gets arguably “cleaner” results.
Finally, garnish with a few fresh coriander leaves (in North America, this is cilantro – fun fact; this herb comes from the same plant as the spice “coriander,” which is why they have the same name in many parts of the world), as seen in the games’ coconut curry.
As with my last recipe, the colour is not a close match for the games’ version, but you could get something a little closer by not blending the tomatoes. Upping the coconut cream would also make the sauce paler in colour, and curry sauce is allowed to be very liquid; serving it in a bowl is fine (make more rice to soak it all up though).
And of course, the all-important rating:
I rate this curry: Milcery-class!
I’m not a huge tikka masala fan, but this was a perfectly serviceable curry. I’m happy with the chicken, which was tender and flavourful, and I actually think the coconut adds a lot to the dish (so I guess good call on that one, Sword and Shield!). I made this with 2 tbs of tomato ketchup, which in retrospect I think made it too sweet, which is why I’ve cut it to 1 tbs in the recipe above – I would not oppose cutting it altogether, especially if you’re going for a colour closer to Sword and Shield’s pale yellow coconut curry.
Other things you could try here:
Curries made with coconut milk or coconut cream are common in Thai, Vietnamese and Indonesian cuisine, so use flavours from that part of the world. Curry powder, ginger, fish sauce, lemongrass and lime are a good combination of flavours if you want to experiment with other coconut-based curries.
You might have already gathered from my recipes that there is a basic all-purpose method to making a curry sauce:
- Gently fry the aromatics (ginger, garlic, anything that looks or tastes like an onion).
- Throw in the spices and fry those for a bit (be very careful not to burn these).
- Add some kind of liquid (chicken or vegetable stock, dairy or coconut cream, yoghurt, maybe vinegar) and a fruit or vegetable for bulk (very commonly tomato, but we saw apple used last time in the British fish and chip curry).
- Cook it for a bit to soften everything up and let the flavours mingle, then chuck it in a blender or food processor until it’s smooth.
If you want to be authentic to any particular cuisine, there will be a list of spices and fruits that you should stick to, but if you’re just cooking for yourself at home, you can and should mess around within that basic template to create something you enjoy. Pick spices that you like and see how they taste together. Combine different fruits, vegetables, nuts or beans – after all, Sword and Shield will let you use literally any berry to make a curry sauce. Tomato is always a safe bet, but everything from chick peas to peanuts to eggplant to pumpkin and even bananas are all totally legitimate in “curries” of different modern cuisines around the world. A Sword and Shield curry is a British curry – a dish made with half-understood ingredients from the other side of the world to satisfy tastebuds that have never encountered anything else like it. Embrace the madness! Just, uh… be prepared for the occasional Koffing-class dish as you experiment with different flavours.
Let us know if you tried it in the comments below! Or share your own culinary adventures with us in our Discord server!