Thursday, July 30, 2009

Masala Chicken Curry

I hardly cook Indian food even though we love eating it. I think it's because of the number of ingredients and steps used in the entire cooking process that has always thrown me off. For us it's always easier to go to a restaurant if we have cravings for curries or banana leaf rice (you literally eat off a banana leaf instead of a plate). I guess it also doesn't help when there is an excellent Indian restaurant just outside my apartment block and within easy walking distance. This restaurant serves not only good banana leaf rice but they also whip up a mean Indian fish head curry. I read somewhere that this dish doesn't originate from India but rather from Malaysia and Singapore (and some even say China) but that's another story altogether. I hope to try cooking this one day.

So with some spare time over the weekend and with plentiful of spices which I had purchased a while back, I decided to embark on cooking a masala chicken curry. The last time I had tried my hand for the first time at making chicken briyani rice . I served the curry with some yellow basmati rice cooked with ghee, some tumeric powder, cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, sliced fresh ginger and shallots, and seasoned with salt.



Masala Chicken Curry
(serves 3 - 4)

For Marinate:
750g kg chicken, washed and cut into medium sized pieces
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup of mixed chopped coriander and mint leaves
1 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to suit your spice level)
¼ tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

For the Paste:
6-7 cashew nuts
4-5 tbsps milk

Dry roast and make a fine powder:
1” cinnamon
10-12 curry leaves
3 cloves

Rest of the ingredients:
3-4 tbsps of ghee (you can use any other oil, except olive oil)
2 big onions finely chopped
1 large tomato finely chopped
1 tbsp of tomato paste
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp coriander powder
3/4 tsp black pepper powder (adjust to suit your spice level)
¼ tsp cumin powder
mint leaves and almond flakes for garnish



Method:

1) Marinate chicken pieces in chilli powder, turmeric powder, yogurt, mint, coriander and salt for 20 minutes.

2) While the chicken pieces is marinating, make a paste of cashew nuts and milk. Keep aside.

3) Dry roast cinnamon, cloves and curry leaves for 1 minute (you can do this in a frying pan over low heat) and grind into a fine powder using your spice grinder.

4) Heat 1 1/2 tbsps of ghee in a pot. Add the onions and saute till soften. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute further for another 3-4 minutes on medium heat.

5) Add coriander, cumin and pepper and combine well and fry for another minute.

6) Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Combine well and cook till oil separates. Dish out into a bowl and set aside to cool. Then add the ingredients into a food processor and blend until it becomes a paste. Keep aside this masala paste.

7) Heat 1 1/2 tbsps ghee in a pot and add the marinated chicken and cook on high flame for 3-4 minutes (make sure you stir to avoid sticking to the base of the pot), reduce heat and cook for another 4-5 minutes.

8) Add the ground masala paste, cashew nut paste and ground powder of cinnamon, cloves and curry leaves and combine well. Cook till chicken pieces are soft and you get the desired curry consistency. Add a bit of water if it looks too dry. Add salt to taste.

9) Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and almond flakes.



8 comments:

Sophie said...

I love your Massala chicken curry!

Who can resist?
MMMMMMMMMMMMMM,...

Palidor said...

I totally agree about cooking Indian food. You need lots of ingredients, and lots of time. There's no such thing as "quick" Indian food. But, it's worth it! Your curry chicken looks absolutely delicious.

Kitchen Flavours said...

Oh wow....that's an awesome and drool worthy recipe...very yum....

5 Star Foodie said...

What a delicious looking curry! Yum!

The Duo Dishes said...

We know this one will be great...intense and full of flavor.

Kerstin said...

Yum, it looks great! I've been trying to cook more Indian food at home too, now that I've accumulated all the spices :)

shaz said...

Groannn..this is making me so hungry and a bit homesick! Oh for some banana leaf right now :)

aaanne said...

It looks delicious! I want some with rice! The list of ingredients is the main reason why I have't coked any Indian curry yet.

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