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Easy Chicken Curry in Yogurt Based Gravy

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An easy and quick chicken curry which can be made within forty five minutes and the ingredient list is also not as long as your arm.

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Rate this recipe 2.8/5 (6 Votes)

Ingredients

  • ngredients:
  • For the marination:
  • 1. 500 grams of chicken
  • either with bone or boneless. I prefer using the thigh pieces. If using boneless pieces the cooking time is further reduced
  • 2. 1 heaped table spoon of ginger and garlic paste each
  • 3. Half a cup of yogurt. I use Greek Yogurt
  • For the curry:
  • 1. Whole garam masala: 2 cloves
  • half an inch of cinnamon
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 2 dried bay leaves. Crush these lightly before adding.
  • 2. 1 tea spoon of sahi jeera or cumin seeds
  • 3. 1 tea spoon of kasuri meethi or dried fenugreek leaves
  • 4. 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 5. Half a tea spoon of sugar
  • 6. Salt to taste
  • 7. 1 table spoon of sunflower/vegetable oil
  • 8. Half a cup to a cup of milk

Details

servings 4
Level of difficulty Average
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 50mins
Cost Average budget

Preparation

Step 1

The method:

1. Marinate the chicken the night before and refrigerate. If using boneless chicken pieces 2 to 3 hours of marination is sufficient. For the marination to nicely seep into chicken pieces, please pierce the pieces with a fork.

2. Bring out the chicken from the fridge at least an hour before cooking.

3. On a large pan, heat the oil, once the oil is smoking, reduce the flame and add the slightly crushed whole garam masalas, the cumin seeds, the chopped onion and the sugar. Mix well, increase the flame to medium and fry till the onion turns translucent. Will take around 3 to 4 minutes.

4. Once the onion turns glassy and the nice fried smell starts coming out, add the chicken with the marination and the required amount of salt. Mix well, reduce the flame to medium low, cover the pan and let it cook for 20 minutes or so in case it's boneless, 30 minutes or so in case with bone. Keep checking and stirring in between. The chicken would be releasing a lot of water and some fat. In case it does not and it starts to dry up, add a little water at a time like one fourth of a cup or so and mix well.

5. After the required time, insert a fork to see if the chicken has been cooked. By this stage the curry be slightly dry. Taste the seasoning and adjust.

6. Now you can leave it like this, it's a perfectly good chicken curry. But if you want to take it to the next level, add the milk and let it all come to the boil. The milk makes the chicken curry so very creamy.

7. At the every end add the dried fenugreek leaves and mix well. The fenugreek leaves add a lovely smell and reminds me of dishes served in restaurants.

Serve this with steamed rice, pulao or naan.

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Some tips about the spices & herbs:

I personally think that the trick is to pick up those spices which you can use in other recipes as well. Spices like cloves, cinnamon, green cardamom can be used in baking, making mulled wine. Spices like cumin and fennel add a lot of flavour to lamb dishes and are used liberally in Asian and North African cuisines as well.
Some spices can be replaced by an ingredient already at home. Like red chilli powder can easily be replaced by paprika or chilli flakes. A lot of black pepper is used in South Asian cooking and every British home has black pepper.
Some curries have mustard sauce, rather than making the sauce from scratch grinding whole mustard seeds, use English & French mustard. It cuts down the effort and the cooking time without compromising on the taste.
Also it makes sense to buy spices in smaller quantities and refilling if and when needed.
What they say about spices is true, if you keep spices for a long time they do loose all flavour.
And it is always better to buy whole ones, the powdered ones are rather bogus, though we do use some powdered ones on a regular basis like turmeric, red chilli et al.
The most popular herb used in curries is coriander & curry leaves. Mint comes next in popularity. A few days back in my superstore while picking up a bunch coriander, I heard a young couple agonising over whether they should pick up one whole bunch of coriander for just one dish. The guy kept wondering what they would do with the rest of the bunch, the woman kept saying that the recipe said coriander is essential. I was so tempted to join in the conversation. But of course I refrained. When I face a similar situation, I make a coriander & mint paste and freeze it in small batches. They make great marination for BBQ or can be served as a chutney with starters or used as the base of a sauce of a curry. Mint, apart from adding to the coriander paste, I use a lot to make mint tea. Curry leaves stay for a long time in the fridge, I know some people who do freeze their curry leaves.

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