Baba's Chicken Curry

Do not take the quantities too seriously, but remember, as you are cooking from the right side of your brain, always use less spices if you are not sure. Too much spice can really spoil a dish. A little less spice just makes the dish more subtle. Thank the chicken for giving itself so that we can eat and enjoy.

This chicken curry recipe is for 3-4 people

  • 3 cups potatoes, chopped into a pleasing shape
  • Chopped carrots (optional)
  • Chicken for 3-4 people, any part of the chicken you like to use
  • 1 ounce of oil
  • A little ghee for flavour, the chicken has a lot of fat usually, so no need for too much
  • 2 cups of plain yogurt, balkan style is best, but other will do
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of powdered cinnamon, cloves and cardamom
  • 2 medium onions, cut into crescent moon shapes
  • 1 teaspoon of hing
  • A handful of chopped garlic cloves (less if you prefer)
  • A handful of chopped fresh ginger
General rule: use as much garlic and ginger as you are comfortable with
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, or less is you are sensitive to hot spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder (jeera)
General rule: always use a ratio of less cumin powder than coriander powder (about 1:2)
  • Fresh coriander leaves a.k.a. cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 can of coconut milk (makes richer sauce) or hot water
  • Salt to taste

Add turmeric, coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt to the yogurt in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Add the chicken and let marinate for as long as possible. 3-4 hours is good, but even half an hour is acceptable.

Heat oil and ghee in heavy bottomed pan on medium high, and when quite hot, add powdered cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Add hing. Let it sizzle a few seconds but do not burn.

Add onions, ginger & garlic, sauté for a few minutes at medium heat, until golden coloured. Add potatoes, and turn frequently so bottom does not stick. Do not add water. Turn and turn the potatoes often. Add carrots if you want. They can add a sweeter flavour to the curry.

When the potatoes are well sautéed, (about 5-6 minutes), add marinated chicken one piece at a time, saving the marinade sauce. Use medium high setting as the cold chicken will reduce the heat for awhile. Turn and sauté a further 2-3 minutes. Should smell like heaven. Fry a bit longer, perhaps 5-7 minutes, but never let it burn or get too dry. Reduce heat to medium. Add the marinade sauce, and coconut milk, a little at a time, mixing as you go. If you don't use coconut milk, pour in hot water a little at a time. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.

Cover with a good lid. Spend a minute cleaning the counter and stove top. Kiss someone you love. Thank the gods for the opportunity to make lovely food.

At medium-low heat simmer for 30 minutes. Test the chicken and cook longer if necessary. If the chicken is done, then turn off the heat and let sit covered until it is time to serve the food. Sprinkle with fresh green coriander (cilantro) and lemon juice before serving.

Serve with heated whole wheat tortillas (easier to get ahold of than chapatis in our semi-rural area) or freshly cooked rice. Any good long grain rice works. Don't be a Basmati snob.   :--)

Any curry always tastes better the next day as it marinates overnight in the fridge.

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