Recipe: Chicken curry for the soul
“Anyone can cook but only the fearless can be great.”― Chef Gusteau
Chicken curry is a staple for most Indian families who have non-veg. Hence it just had to be on my list of things to prepare. Below is a very simple recipe without the need for a grinder or food processer.
I’ve also included a few alternatives for measurements and a few tips for you to know perfectly when its good to go to the next step along the way.
Time: 40 mins
Ingredients (In order of use):
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
4 cloves garlic
Ginger (tiny piece)
2 onions (medium-sized)
Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
Turmeric 1 tsp
Chilli powder 1tbsp
Cumin powder 1.5 tsp (You can make this at home by roasting cumin(jeera)
Coriander powder 1tbsp
2 tomatoes (medium-sized)
1/2 kg boneless chicken (4 chicken breasts)
1 tbsp coconut milk powder
Garam Masala 1tsp
- Trim any excess fat off the chicken and cut the chicken into small pieces and put them in a large bowl. Keep your spices and other ingredients ready before you start.
- Place a medium non-stick pan over medium heat and add the coconut oil. You can be generous here and add 1/4th a cup.
- Once the oil is hot, add the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon, and saute for a minute until the spices change colour and become fragrant.
- Add the chopped (Lengthwise in half) garlic and ginger and saute for a few seconds. Do not cut the garlic too small as they burn real quick when too small.
- Mix-in the Chopped (lengthwise) onions and saute it for 3-4 minutes until a light golden brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for 3 minutes until golden brown.
- To the mix add your spices: turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin, and stir well till the spices are well spread.
- Add the diced tomatoes. (Do not de-seed the tomatoes while dicing. You need the juice within the tomato to add to the curry). Saute for 3-4 minutes stirring continuously.
- Continue stirring till the entire mix sticks together and maintains a roughly spherical shape without any tidbits on the surrounding surface of the pan. The more you cook this the better your curry would taste. Having this properly cooked is one of the most important parts of the preparation. You would have the tomato completely broken down and part of a mix with the onions, also broken down and in the mix (gravy base). This process should take anywhere between 7-12 minutes but its better to follow your eyes rather than the clock. (For an image reference check left most image on top)
- Once you feel like the mix is well cooked and of a gooey thick consistency (as mentioned above), its time to add your diced chicken. Add the chicken pieces and mix well ensuring that the gravy base sticks to every piece of chicken evenly. Continue stirring until the gravy mix is well spread on the surface of the chicken and sticks to the chicken. At this stage, an interesting point to note is that you won’t have much of the gravy base rolling around in the pan. Most of it should be on the surface of the chicken. This ensures that your chicken is flavourful, inside the curry once complete.
- Coconut milk: Add a cup of hot water to 1tbsp of coconut milk powder and keep this ready.
- Once you feel your chicken is ready as per step 9, add your coconut milk. Add 1/2 cup of hot water and stir the entire mix.
- Close the lid and leave to cook for 20 minutes on a low flame. You can check occasionally to see if you have enough gravy to your liking. If you feel you would like more gravy, you can add more hot water. Note, that towards the end the water soaks up quick so you might want to add more water while cooking to ensure you have enough gravy.
- If you feel you’ve added too much water, no need to panic, just leave it to cook a bit more, leaving the pan open for the water to evaporate.
- Add chopped coriander leaves, a handful of curry leaves and half a tsp of garam masala to the curry. Add salt to taste and mix for 5-7 minutes and your amazing chicken curry should be ready.
This is my recipe and I feel it tastes magical. There are countless ways to make a great chicken curry, I’ve found this to be most tasty. There is no right or wrong way so feel free to experiment and find the right mix of ingredients and order of steps to suit your taste.
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