My favorite accompaniment for this zesty dish is basmati rice. Grown in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, it is a delicate, long-grained rice which has a firm texture and a nutty, perfumy aroma and flavor. Although it's not "instant," this rice cooks in just 15 minutes.
1 cup broccoli florets
2 medium-size carrots, cut into thin diagonal slices
1 small onion, cut into ¼-inch wedges (about ½ cup)
1 tablespoon canola oil 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch by ½-inch strips
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons curry powder, or to taste
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced jalapeno pepper, or ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced ½ cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
To complete the recipe
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 plum tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
Garnish: roasted unsalted peanuts or toasted sesame seeds, sprigs of fresh cilantro
Put the broccoli, carrots, and onion in a medium microwave-proof dish; add about ¼ cup water.
Cover and microwave on high for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
Drain well; cover to keep warm. (If you prefer, cook the vegetables for about 6 to 8 minutes in a stovetop steamer.)
Meanwhile, heat the canola oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken; cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until it is lightly browned and cooked through.
While the vegetables and chicken are cooking, prepare the sauce: Heat the oil for in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the curry powder, ginger, jalapeno pepper, and garlic; stir for 1 minute.
Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil; cook, uncovered, for about 3 minutes to reduce the sauce and thicken slightly.
Remove from the heat; stir in the lime juice and red pepper flakes (if using).
Stir the broccoli, carrots, onion, and chicken strips into the sauce. Add the peas and tomato wedges; toss gently until warmed through. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Spoon rice into 4 shallow bowls; top with the chicken and vegetable curry. Garnish and serve immediately.
This dish best when served immediately. For do-ahead preparation, omit the tomatoes and cook up to 1 day in advance; add the tomato wedges when reheating. Keep in mind that the flavor of curry in a dish often intensifies when the dish is allowed to sit.