pineapple chicken

olive oil
2 lbs chicken
(i used skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces)
1/2 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1" knob fresh ginger--peeled and cut into pieces
pinch paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 medium onion--thinly sliced
1 cup chopped mushrooms
3 scallions--chopped
1 carrot--finely cut into matchstick size pieces
2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
1 can pineapple slices or chunks in juice (not heavy syrup)
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Heat heavy lidded pan over medium heat. Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan...just enough to prevent sticking.  Toss in onions and cook to lightly brown.  Meanwhile place salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, curry powder, ginger, paprika, turmeric and garlic in a mortar and pestle and grind to a paste. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can use a blender with a bit of water for liquid or even the back of a knife to smash to a paste.  Once onions begin to lightly brown, toss in the spice paste and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add carrots, mushrooms, scallions and chicken.  Let cook a minute or two, then add the pineapple with juice and the chicken broth. Cover and let simmer about 20-25 minutes.  If you are using boneless chicken, it should be cooked through after about 25 minutes, but check to be sure.  I removed the chicken and then threw the heat up to high and reduced the sauce to thicken it a bit. It is not necessary, you can keep the sauce brothy if you prefer.  Toss in the spinach just before serving.  Serve over rice or couscous.