Although his work plate is more than full with duties as Rudd Foundation senior fellow at WSU’s Barton School of Business, as the director of the Center for International Business Advancement and as chair of the World Trade Council of Wichita, Dharma deSilva still finds times to enjoy the tastes of his native Sri Lanka.
This expert gardener and cook shares one of his favorite recipes.
Widely recognized for his expertise in international management, marketing and business administration, deSilva also knows his way around a garden — and a kitchen.
“I enjoy, very much, gardening and cooking for people,” he says, as he puts the finishing touches on the Mango Chicken Curry dish he’s preparing this early summer evening for members of a WSU international student group.
“It is still early for the garden,” he adds, pointing to the lone, store-bought tomato lying on his kitchen counter and looking out the window to his ripening garden.
Mango Chicken Curry
3 lbs (1.5kg) chicken or chicken pieces
3 tablespoons ghee or oil
1⁄4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, optional
10 curry [or bay] leaves
2 large onions, finely chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon ground fennel
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
6 cardamom pods, bruised
1 stick cinnamon
1 stalk lemon grass or 2 strips lemon rind
1 cup thick coconut milk or buttermilk or milk
1 Mango cut into 1” squares
Joint chicken. Remove skin. Cut breast and leg/thighs in halves, leave wings and drumsticks whole. Heat ghee or Olive Oil and stir-fry fenugreek and curry leaves until they start to brown. Add onions, garlic and ginger and stir-fry gently until onions are quite soft and golden. Add turmeric, chili, coriander, cumin, fennel, paprika, salt, and vinegar. Stir well. Add chicken and stir over medium heat until chicken is thoroughly coated with spices. Add about 2 cups of water or white wine. Add tomatoes, whole spices and lemon grass and cook, covered, 10 minutes at high temperature and over low heat 35-45 minutes. Add coconut milk or milk , taste and add salt [to taste] and a squeeze of lemon juice, Do not cover after adding coconut milk or buttermilk or milk, garnish with mango pieces, parsley or basil. Note: Paprika is used to give the additional color—in Sri Lanka the color is achieved by using 11-19 fried red chilies. Serve with rice (plain white or yellow saffron) and accompaniments.