Curried On: Indian Chicken Curry

Music Pairing: Ravi Shankar, Spirit of India

Story

The curries: deliciously tangy, spicy, somewhat sweet, likely all have in their origins, something British.  The one we will enjoy together, is a version of Indian curry, which has become one of the go-to favorites among our family and friends.  It is a comfort food option on a colder day, a delicious way to introduce new guests to a home and a great all-around conversation starter.  Our story here starts in a home on Morgan Rd in Ypsilanti, MI, where we first built our lives together.  We listened to lots of new music, worked many others and experimented with lots of delicious foods.  Years later, aboard the Queen Mary, while crossing East-bound, we had the great pleasure of attending a cooking master-class, where we learned a version of the recipe that greatly informed our own.  Put on Ravi Shankar’s music, start the fire place, pour a glass of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and give this recipe a try!

Recipe

For the chicken marinade

  • 2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½ inch small cubes
  • 2 T Salt
  • 3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 grams of grated fresh ginger
  • 8 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 5 T yoghurt
  • 3 T garam masala
  • 3-4 T olive oil

For the Curry Sauce

  • 2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½ inch small cubes
  • 2 C of cold water
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1 large chopped or minced onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 3 oz of fresh coriander
  • 1 T turmeric
  • 1-2 T salt
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 6 large tomatoes, peeled, chopped finely
  • 2 T garam masala 3-5 T tomato paste

DIRECTIONS:

Put the chicken in a bowl, poke it several times with a fork, add all marinate ingredients and set aside, ideally, for 2 hours in the refrigerator. If you can do this overnight, the results will be far superior!  When you get ready to cook, try making the chicken on a separate burner from the sauce, before ever combining.  We use a non-stick pan, heating it gently, and sautéing the chicken for about 15-20 minutes on a low-med flame (avoid burning).  On a separate burner, make the wonderful sauce, starting with the gentle heating of the oil on a low flame, adding all of the try ingredients and browning the spices, mixing gently and preventing them from sticking to the pan.  Add the onion, ginger and garlic and cook those in the spices for about 5 minutes. Next, add the yogurt and keep the flame low, one T at a time.  Once you have a beautiful creamy mixture, add the tomatoes and the paste, cooking that mixture for 3-5 minutes, at the most. Add the water, add the cooked chicken, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer gently for another 15-20 minutes. Taste for balance (sometimes, you might consider adding a pinch of brown sugar or salt).  Garnish with cilantro.  Serve this with basmati rice: at our house, this dish is served most frequently with the Persian/Azeri rice shared in a separate recipe.  One could also elect to serve it with rinsed, salted plan basmati rice, cooked for about 30-40 minutes in a pot, with rice/water ratio of appx 1×2 (double water to rice).

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