Curry is kind of like Shannon, in the sense that I can't get enough of it and every time I have it, I fall even more in love with it. Aw. Chicken Xacutti is the saucy vixen of curries, like a spicier Chicken Vindaloo. From my little amount of knowledge on the subject (eating these two dishes), my favorite curries come from the Goa region. Previous to this I thought vindaloo was the definition of spicy curries, but I guess I was wrong. The original recipe for this dish called for 30 (yes, thirty) dried red chilies. Just the small ones, but it's still enough to pique the interest of the growing heat lover inside of me, as well as sort of scare the me that has to go to the bathroom in the morning. The fun doesn't stop there, because the chicken is also marinated with a half dozen fresh green chilies. I halved the recipe, but nearly 20 chilies total is still a lot of chilies.
If I look at the picture of this dish, I can almost smell the spices through the screen. It looks like fire on a plate. I was actually afraid to eat it. However, as soon as I put it in my mouth I fell in love with it. It is similar to the Roasted Garlic Chili Oil recipe that I made back in February, where I feared that it was going to burn my mouth so bad that I'd never be able to taste food again, but the dry-frying of the chilies sort of gives this dish a smokier flavor. Of course, 30 chilies is nothing to scoff at. It's hot, but I'm learning that the amount of heat can only have so much of a cumulative effect. You can't make a dish any hotter than what eating the chili raw would taste like, no matter how many chilies you're adding. This stands to reason. Green and red chilies are not as spicy as haberneros or anything, so while many of them definitely adds a lot of spice, it adds as much flavor as heat and does not necessarily singe your taste buds off. The masala spice blend that accompanies the chilies looks a little overwhelming, but you could probably get away with just using an ordinary garam masala and do just fine.
I'm still figuring this whole saffron thing out. This time it worked, but I'm not sure why. Something has to be done to release the yellowness. I thought boiling would do it, but it didn't; and this time I fried it, which seems like it would just burn and ruin the whole thing, but apparently not. Saffron may be confusing, but it made my Saffron Yellow Beans even more yellow, and I think could even taste the saffron. It was kind of like a floral infused garlic, but the garlic part is because there's garlic in it. I don't know, I don't think anyone can accurately describe saffron other than "it tastes like saffron", so I'll just keep using it because it's fun.