Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Simple Chicken Curry

I have such a soft corner for this chicken dish. Is it because it was the first non-vegetarian / meat dish I learnt? Or because its so easy to make is always tasty even if you vary the contents. Or is it because with slight variations you can have an entirely different curry? Whatever be the reason, it is, comfort food, for me.

You will need:
1 chicken (about 1 kilo)
2 large onions
6 garlic pods
1" ginger
2-3 each of cloves, cardamom
5-6 grains of whole black pepper
1" stick of cinamon
1 bay leaf
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tomatoes
2 Potatoes quartered
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves for garnishing

How to

1. Wash chicken pieces well. (This is for those of you who get it fresh). De-frost for those who pick it up from frozen section of supermarkets. Pat dry / drain and sprinkle with about 2 tsp of salt and the turmeric powder. Use hands to mix well with the chicken pieces.

2. Slices onions finely. Grate the garlic and ginger separately. Slice the tomatoes and keep aside.

3. Heat oil in a pressure cooker. (About 2-3 tbsp)

4. Add the cinamon, cardamom, black pepper, bayleaf.

5. In about half a minute or so, they will release their "aroma". This is about when the pepper corn will start popping!

6. Quickly add the onions and stir to mix well with oil. Fry till the onions are light pink.

7. Add the grated garlic and stir till they are lightly browned. Be careful. Garlic can burn very easily and we dont want them burnt. Just browned.

8. Add the chicken pieces, and mix well with the onions. Add the grated ginger. Fry on high flame. After 2 minutes, stir so that the pieces on top are at the bottom and vice versa. In about 10 minutes or so, all the pieces will be fried.

9. Add the sliced tomatoes, cover with a lid (but dont close the lid). Lower flame and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. The tomatoes will go soft and mushy and release their juices.

10. Mix well. Add about 250 ml of water (about 2 cups). You can add more water if you prefer more gravy. (I do). Adjust the salt.

11. Add the sliced potatoes.

12. Close the lid and let it cook for one whistle of the pressure cooker. If you are not using a pressure cooker, then cook till the potatoes are done.

13. Take off the lid and add the chopped coriander leaves and cook over high flame for 1-2 minutes.

14. Serve hot with rice!

Adding potatoes is optional. You can also add more garlic and onions if you so prefer. If you dont want to add tomatoes, curd works fine. If you are using curd, add it to the chicken in the begining with the salt and turmeric or you can add it at step no. 9 in place of the tomatoes.

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