This is the chicken curry that I grew up eating – it’s my mom’s recipe. Now that that I have a food blog, I’m constantly begging her to jot down her recipes. She hates measuring ingredients, but she loves me, so she does it. Like most Indian moms, she eyeballs everything and somehow whips out an awesome dish. I cook like that sometimes, but I’ve found that my recipes don’t always turn out amazing when I “wing it.” I like keeping track of what I use and how much I’m using. I like seeing how a little something extra can really change a dish. That’s one of the many reasons that I started blogging – to keep a record of the recipes that I really like. When I called my mom to ask for her traditional chicken curry recipe, she told me she’d jot down measurements the next time she made the dish. Well, below is what she gave me – it’s quite fantastic.
This curry was a weekly dish at our house – unlike butter chicken which we’d reserved for special occasions. A typical dinner time meal consisted of this chicken curry, basmati rice (or naan/roti) and a vegetable (like okra, eggplant bharta or saag).
When you make this dish – consider the quality of your ingredients. I always try to buy organic/local/fresh. Juicy, ripe tomatoes make this dish shine, but if you plan to substitute with canned tomatoes then use a bit of cane sugar or honey to remove some of the tartness that comes with canned tomatoes.
- 1 1/2 pound skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 white onions, chopped
- 1 inch knob ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 cup water
- Cilantro, chopped
- Heat ghee in a dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and a bay leaf.
- When the cumin seeds start to splutter, add the onions an cook for about 10-15 minutes or until they turn golden brown
- Add ginger and garlic. Stir for a minute then add the tomatoes, cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the spices and chicken and mix well. Then add one cup of water, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is done.
- Remove cover and cook for 5 more minutes to reduce the liquid.
- Garnish with cilantro.
If the dish isn’t red or orange enough to your liking, just add paprika!