Sukha Chicken Curry

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I really dislike the C word…

…Curry!

It conjures up images of bright orange, gloopy dishes being served at neon signed restaurants with names such as “The Royal Balti” (which for your kind information, translates as “the royal bucket”).

If it is not already obvious – I am Indian. That being the case, I grew up eating Indian food and lots of it. Lots of different types of dishes, all with unique names, ingredients, flavours and aromas. Consequently, I had absolutely zero notion of the concept of “curry”. I remember an incident in primary school when a friend approached me and said “Monica, you’re Indian. Does that mean you have curry every day for tea?” (For any British readers based south of the Watford Gap, the word “tea” is northern for dinner). The blank expression on my face was my response. Needless to say I went home very confused after school that day and had a good chat with Mum to clarify!

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Today’s recipe is one of the few dishes that although has the word “curry” in its name, is nothing like the stereotypical, lifeless, fluorescent aberrations I described earlier! This is the type of dish that made us constantly ask as kids – is it ready yet? How about now? This recipe is just so good. I’m talking lip smacking, forehead-sweating, nose slightly running, hyper ventilating-ly good… you know what I mean!

That’s right, the winner winner chicken dinner that is…Chicken Curry! This specific recipe is a twist on the classic in that it is not as “wet” as the original. Mopped up with hot and fresh chapattis, the drier masala works a treat. Hence the word “sukha” in the dish’s name, which means dry. See what I do? Teach hindi AND share recipes simultaneously…true value here people! I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do. Post your thoughts below. Oh and pleased to say that the lovely people at Net Flights have featured this recipe in their latest magazine! Even more of a reason to try!

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Sukha Chicken Curry
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1kg chicken thighs & legs, skinnless & on the bone
  2. 2 potatoes, washed and quartered
  3. 2 medium onions, chopped roughly
  4. 2 green chillis
  5. 3 garlic cloves,
  6. 3" ginger, washed
  7. 4 tbsp olive oil
  8. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  9. 3” cinnamon stick
  10. 2 cloves
  11. 3 peppercorns
  12. 2 bay leaves
  13. 1 black cardamom
  14. 2 1/2 tsp salt
  15. 2 tsp garam masala
  16. 1 tsp paprika
  17. 1 tsp turmeric powder
  18. 3 plum tomatoes & 3 tbsp juice
  19. handful fresh coriander
Instructions
  1. Using a knife, place some slits in the chicken pieces.
  2. To make the masala, coarsely grind onions in a processor and place in a bowl. Now coarsely grind the chilli, ginger and garlic.
  3. Heat oil in a non stick pan. Once hot add the cumin alongside the cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaf and black cardamom.
  4. When they begin to sizzle in the oil, add the ground onions. Add 1/2 tsp salt and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously.
  5. When they turn slightly translucent, add the ground chilli, ginger and garlic mixture. Cook for 3-4 minutes until everything turns a deep golden shade.
  6. Now reduce the heat and add the remaining salt, garam masala, paprika and turmeric powder and mix well. Now add the plum tomatoes and juice and mash into the masala. When the oil begins to separate from the masala sauce, add the chicken and potatoes and mix together.
  7. Add 1/4 cup of water and cook on high heat stirring every couple of minutes. After 5 minutes, reduce heat to medium and place lid on pan. Allow chicken to cook for 20 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes.
  8. Cut through a piece chicken to ensure it is white all the way through. Place a knife through the potatoes to make sure they are also fully cooked. Sprinkle on fresh coriander and mix.
  9. Check for salt and adjust accordingly. If you would like the gravy of dish to be a little "drier", increase the heat to high and cook until the gravy is of the desired consistency.
Notes
  1. Tip-You can use any part of the chicken but I recommend thigh/leg pieces as they are the most tender!
Monica's Spice Diary - Indian Food Blog http://spicediary.com/

Oven Baked Goan Chicken Curry

goan chicken curry

I have said it before and I’ll say it again-I love the vastness and diversity that Indian cookery has to offer! I’m constantly learning about new regional dishes which continue to broaden my culinary perspective on Indian cuisine. I feel so lucky to have lots of family who reside in India and I visit them as often as I can-and as much as I love catching up and staying with my loved ones (how can I not love staying with my Grandma won’t stop feeding me until I look “healthy”?), I always endeavour to do as much exploring and traveling as I can in my motherland. Recently I got the opportunity to visit Go-a wonderful, former Portuguese province, that fuses Eastern & Western culture into one state. A popular tourist destination, Goa is well known for its beaches, markets, history, spice plantations and most importantly its food! Today’s recipe is inspired by this spicy, fresh and flavoursome cuisine and features ingredients typically found in Goan dishes such as chilli, tamarind & fresh coconut. It’s oven baked which adds a lovely depth and richness to the dish making it perfect to be mopped up with hot fresh chappatis and a cold winter’s evening!

 

Serves 4

What we need:
1/2 kg boneless skinned chicken thighs cut into 2″ cubes
4 tbsp plain yoghurt
Juice from 1/2 lemon
4 tsp salt
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
4 small potatoes, peeled and cut into 8 pieces (optional)
1″ cinnamon stick
1 black cardamom 
1 green cardamom
2 cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, peeled & roughly chopped
1 green chilli
4″ ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup fresh coconut grated or 1/4 tin coconut milk
1 tsp tamarind paste (optional)
2 plum tomatoes and 3 tbsp tomato juice (from tin)
1 handful fresh coriander

How to:

  • Place chicken in a bowl and add 2 tbsp yoghurt, lemon juice, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp garam masala and 1 tsp paprika. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Pre-heat oven at 220C (or the highest temperature your oven goes to). In the mean time, place the chicken and the potatoes in a deep roasting tray.
  • Once the oven is hot,  cook for approximately 15 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over and cook for a remaining 10-12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and white all the way through. Remove the chicken but keep the oven on.
  • In a food processor add the onions, green chilli, ginger and garlic and blitz until a coarse paste forms.
  • Heat the oil in a non stick pan. Once hot, add the cinnamon stick, black cardamom, green cardamom, cloves, cumin seeds & bay leaves. When they begin to splatter in the oil, add the coarse masala paste into the pan alongside 2 tsp salt and cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes. When the masala turns slightly golden in colour, add the coconut and continue to cook for 5-7 minutes. Now add 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp paprika and the turmeric. Mix well for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the tamarind paste and plum tomatoes & mash well. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes or until you see the oil begin to separate from the masala.  Now add the coriander. Check for salt and adjust accordingly.
  • Add the masala to the roasting tray containing the chicken and mix. Cover with foil.
  • Place in the tray back into the oven and cook for 12 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh grated coconut & coriander. Serve with fresh chappatis or basmati rice.

Check out more mouth watering recipes here.

Classic Chicken Curry

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This classic Chicken Curry recipe really takes me back to my childhood. It reminds me of spending perfect Sundays at my Grandma’s house. Every time I make this dish it takes me back to our weekly family gatherings. Uncles, aunties and cousins would congregate at my grandma’s home every Sunday and whilst all the ladies would be busy helping to cook up a grand feast in the kitchen, all the men would be catching up on the latest business gossip or discussing the most recent sports headlines over chai (general man stuff !)

I was always in charge of kneading the chapati dough and I took my given duty very seriously, ensuring I had made enough and constantly pressing on the dough to check the consistency of it was just right. We always made a plethora of dishes, with plenty of fragrant cumin rice and rotis to go round, at least twice..it’s the Indian way! The aroma of the chicken curry dish would always pull me in immediately and I would scurry in-between family members to make sure I could land myself a generous portion before anyone else. Thinking about it, my eating habbits haven’t changed much since then..this still happens to this day!

The recipe below is for the boneless version. You can of course customise this recipe according to your preferences. I hope you enjoy it! Please let me know what you think of it below or alternatively tweet me @thespiceclub 🙂

Serves 4-6

What we need:
500g boneless chicken thighs (cut into 2″ cubes)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp garlic, grated
1/2 tin plum tomatoes
1 tsp cumin
2 bay leaves
1 small piece of cinnamon
1 black cardamom (optional)
2.5 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp yoghurt
Handful fresh coriander

How we do:

  • Place the chicken in a bowl. Add 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp garlic, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp garam masala & 2 tbsp yoghurt and mix well. If you have time, cover & leave to marinate overnight. If not, add oil to a wide pan. Once hot, add the chicken. Stir continuously & cook until the chicken is cooked & white all the way through. This should take about 10-15 minutes. Turn off & remove from heat.
  • To make the masala, heat oil in a pan. Add the cumin, bay leaves, cinnamon & cardamom. Once they begin to splutter add the chopped onions, green chilli & 1 tsp of salt. Cook the onions on medium heat until they become translucent & are soft. (This should take 5-7 mins). Now add the 1/2tsp garlic and 1 tsp ginger. Mix well & cook until the masala turns golden.
  • Reduce the heat slightly & add 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garam masala and 1 tsp turmeric powder and mix together. Now add the tomatoes to the masala  & mash them together to make a paste.
  • Once the oil begins to separate from the masala, add the chicken  to the masala. Add 1 cup of water and bring to boil. Now add 1 tbsp yoghurt. Continue to cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Now add a handful of fresh coriander. Turn off the heat. Check for salt and adjust accordingly.
  • Best served with hot basmati cumin rice!

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