Here’s a dish I grew up enjoying, but rather than starting with the chicken as I’m about to show you, mom would typically use curry or stewed chicken she made the day before. After sharing similar recipes using both French and String Beans, I was asked to do this version.. with Bodi (aka Bora or Yard Beans). The only real difference in using Bodi is that it can be a bit tougher and needs a few extra minutes to go fully tender.
3 lbs chicken (cut into 2-3 inch pieces)
1 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1 teaspoon salt (adjust)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
2 tablespoon veg oil
2 – 2 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (geera)
1 shallot (or small onion)
5-7 cloves garlic
1 bundle Bodi (about 4-5 cups when trimmed)
1 – 1 1/2 cup water
Note: Add more Scotch Bonnet when cooking the ‘curry’ at the start for an extra kick to the dish. Important! If doing this dish gluten free, please go through the entire list of ingredients to make sure they meet with specific gluten free dietary needs. Especially the curry powder you use as some may have flour as a filler.
Clean and trim the chicken (fat and skin etc) then season with the salt, black pepper, Caribbean Green Seasoning and scotch bonnet pepper. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water after handling the spicy pepper. Allow to marinate for 1/2 hour.
During this time you can trim and prep the Bodi. Cut off the tips (discard) then cut into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces, wash with cool water. To keep it fresh I usually leave the trimmed bodi (any beans I use) covered in cool water in a deep bowl.
Heat the veg oil in a deep pot on a medium flame, then go in with the sliced shallot (substitute an onion if necessary) , and garlic. Turn the heat to as low as it will go and cook for about 3-4 minutes. I added a few extra slices of scotch bonnet pepper for an extra kick.
Add the cumin seeds and stir well, then add the curry powder and cook for another 3-5 minutes. This will ensure we won’t get a “raw” curry taste at the end, plus it will allow the spices which makes up the curry powder to bloom and give us an amazing curry base. The longer you cook the ‘curry’ the darker it will get. Heat still on low as we don’t want things to burn.
Now crank-up the heat to high and start adding the marinated chicken to the pot. Yes it’s ok if the marinade goes in too. Stir well to coat the chicken with that lovely curry base.
Put the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to medium. It will spring it’s own natural juices. after bout 5-7 minutes, remove the lid, crank up the heat and burn off that liquid. That will infuse the chicken with the curry flavor. Then add the trimmed Bodi to the pot and stir well. heat on high.
Swish around the water in the same bowl you marinated the chicken in to pick up any remaining marinade, then add that water to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook with the lid on for about 25-30 minutes.
After 25 minutes or so the bodi should be nice and tender and the chicken fully cooked. You may check for salt and adjust accordingly and you have the option of having a gravy or turn the heat up to burn off all the liquid. I was serving this on rice so I wanted a bit of gravy.
An amazing curry dish with chicken and beans, packed with Caribbean goodness. Excellent served with hot roti, rice or a side dish as you’d normally serve.
Do you own a copy of my cookbook ?- The Vibrant Caribbean Pot 100 Traditional And Fusion recipes Vol 2