Mildly spiced chicken curry

This is a simple and quick recipe for a north Indian style chicken curry.

You need

  • 500 gm Chicken – cut into curry sized pcs. I use chicken on the bone, but you can use what you like. (If you are using lesser or more quantity of chicken, adjust the spices accordingly.
  • I have added the hindi names of the ingredients in italics too
  • Marination of the chicken (1 to 2 hours works well
    • 1/2 cup thick curd/dahi/yogurt
    • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi
    • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder/or per taste/laal mirch
    • 1 teaspoon ginger – garlic paste (you can use finely chopped or minced fresh ginger and garlic too) adrak-lehsun
    • Salt to taste/ namak
    • 1/2 teaspoon of oil (if you can use mustard oil, great. If not usual cooking oil will also work)
  • Mix everything well, it should be a thick paste. Now add this to washed chicken, mix to coat the pcs well. Cover and refrigerate for marination. If you are planning a quick marination, you can consider leaving it out too, but check to see how best this would work, in your ambient temperature.
  • Other ingredients for curry
    • Finely chopped onions/pyaz, slice them lengthwise – 2 large onions
    • Finely diced tomato/tomato puree/paste/tamatar – 1-2 teaspoons
    • Whole coriander seeds/dhania sabut – 1 teaspoon
    • Whole cumin seeds/jeera sabut – 1/2 teaspoon
    • Dried bay leaf /tezpata– 1
    • Green cardamom/choti elaichi – 2
    • Black cardamom/badi elaichi – 1
    • Cloves/laung – 2 to 3
    • Oil – 2-3 tablespoons
    • Salt to taste
    • Dry powdered spices – coriander, cumin, garam masala
    • Freshly chopped coriander for garnish
  • Take a wok, heat 1 tablespoon of oil/enough to lightly fry the onions.
  • Add the cumin, coriander seeds, green and black cardamom, cloves, bay leaf (careful, all these are splutter-worthy)
  • Now add the onions and cook on medium heat until translucent. If you want your curry to be nice and brown, cook them a little more until just brown. But onions burn in a second, so watch it like a hawk. You don’t want them to burn, then they are no good for your curry
  • When the onions are done, add in the dry spices. About 1 tablespoon of cumin and coriander powder, and a pinch of turmeric powder. Cook well until oil separates from the sides.
  • Now toss in chopped tomatoes. At this point, you can add in some fresh green chilies if you like it hot. Else just leave it out.
  • Cook on medium heat until tomatoes are soft and everything is blended and cooked well. It will still be chunky but should be combined well. Will need about 7-10 min.
  • Now, add the marinated chicken pcs into this wok, keeping the heat on high. Toss in whatever is left of the marinade too.
  • The chicken pcs will cook slightly, when tossed. keeping the heat high make sure they get slightly seared (sort of). After 3-4 minutes, you can turn the heat to medium, mix everything well, add salt, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional) and cook.
  • Give it about 10-15 minutes to cook the chicken well.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning. It should be stronger than you finally want it because we have not added the water for the curry yet. That will dilute the spices a bit.
  • Add in 1-2 cups water, or as desired. Give it a boil on medium heat.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander.
  • P.S if you want to use a chicken curry masala/spice blend, replace the dry spices with that. I still recommend you marinade the chicken as suggested, and simply omit the dry spices from the curry. Use the whole spices (coriander/cumin/cardamom/bay leaves) they give a very nice flavour to the curry.
  • Enjoy with rice, or roti/paratha/naan
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