In my Christmas stocking this past December, Santa gave me a jar of Bruno's Favourite Curry Powder. It's from a small store called Bruno's Best in Vancouver (Santa always knows the best places to shop). Tonight I used it to make a variation on one of my standard, go-to meals, curry. The addition of whole star anise and cinnamon during the simmering of this curry add a real depth of flavour - not to mention, star anise is really one of the prettier spices!
3 whole star anise (mine were a gift from a friend who visted Malaysia but you should be able to get them at a normal grocery store)
1 large cinnamon stick
2-3 tbs curry powder (I used Bruno's favourite, of course)
1 tbs cumin, dried
1 big can diced tomatoes with juice
1 c chicken or veggie stock
2 c cooked chickpeas
1 diced red bell pepper
5 cloves minced garlic
2 diced medium onions
2 tbs apple or mango chutney
1. Heat up 2 tbs of canola oil in a big pan over medium heat. This is the one I use. I love it. When the oil is hot, add your onions and saute until they're translucent.
2. Add the ground spices, garlic, and red pepper and saute for a few minutes, until the spices are fragrant and the garlic starts to cook.
3. Add the tomatoes, stock, chickpeas, chutney, and the star anise and cinnamon. Let this simmer for about 20 minutes. It will reduce and the flavours of the cinnamon and star anise will slowly meld into the gravy, adding a nice depth to the curry.
4. Serve with jasmine or basmati rice, and perhaps some naan bread.