Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Indian Chicken Curry

It is a delicious yellow colored Chicken curry loved greatly by the people of Northern part of India. The specific flavor and the aroma of the preparation with the melting softness of the chicken pieces is a delightful dining experience. It goes very well with the Indian flat breads (Nan, chappathis, puris) and steamed basmati rice. Some like it with Mutton Biryani also. I will show you the easiest way to prepare this curry at your home.
Preparation time - 25 minutes
Cooking time - 50 minutes
Difficulty level - Easy
Ingredients - Cooking medium – Mustard oil or white oil-50 ml,
Chicken pieces (skinned, bone-in and medium sized)-750gms
Onions-two large or three medium sized finely chopped,
8-10 cloves of garlic half crushed,
2 tbsp of ginger paste
1 tsp of turmeric powder,
1 tsp of coriander powder,
½ tsp of cumin powder,
1 tsp of cumin seeds,
150 grams of yoghurt
2 medium sized tomatoes made into puree
White sugar ½ tsp,
Salt 1tsp
Red chili powder ½ tsp
2 green chilies chopped,
3-4 bay leaves,
4-5 green cardamom pods,
2-3 cloves,
2-3 small cinnamon sticks
Garam masala powder or hot spice mix
Hot water- 300 ml
Clarified butter or ghee-1tsp (optional)
Handful of chopped coriander leaves (optional) for garnishing
Marinate the chicken with the yoghurt, ginger- garlic paste, turmeric powder, cumin, coriander and chilies for about 15-20 minutes. This will make the chicken softer, and the aroma of the spices will be absorbed well into the chicken pieces.
Heat oil in a wide and thick bottomed vessel. Add the sugar first and heat it till it turns into brown colored caramel. This will give the curry a rich, natural brown-yellowish color. Then add the bay leaves, cumin seeds, cloves and the cardamoms till the aroma comes out. Then add the chopped onions and fry in a medium flame till it is golden brown. Then put the chicken with the marinade into it.
Cook the chicken in a medium- high flame for 5mins. Then cover the pan and cook in a low flame stirring occasionally. After 10 -15mins of cooking add the tomatoes and the salt and stir again so that it mixes well with the chicken. At this time the chicken will be runny again. Cover it again.
Continue cooking till all the water dries up and the oil starts to separate. Occasional stirring is necessary to make the spices well fried and avoid sticking in the pan. Then pour hot water and cover it again.
Continue to cook in a low flame as slow cooking makes it tastier.
After 20- 25mins check with the help of a fork whether the pieces are tender. If you want some more gravy you can add some hot water again and give it a boil. Or if you want it to be dry open the cover and increase the flame till the water dries up. Then add the garam masala powder and the ghee (optional) and the coriander leaves and cover the vessel for a few minutes. This standing time is required so that the aroma of the spices go well into the chicken.
Serve hot.
1. Ghee enriches the flavor of the preparation.
2. You can also use boneless chicken pieces; the cooking time will be less but the ingredients will remain the same.
3. If you do not want to marinate the chicken with the yoghurt and the spices, you can also add the spices and beaten yoghurt one by one after adding the chicken into the fried onion. Marinating makes the chicken softer and lessens the preparation time.
4. Do not use salt in the marinade as it dilutes the mixture of chicken and the spices.