North Indian Chicken Curry



    4 tbsp rice bran or vegetable oil
    1 large stick of cinnamon
    7 cloves
    7 green cardamom pods
    2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
    1 tablespoon of finely grated ginger (more if you like it spicy)
    2 cloves of garlic, crushed (double this if you love garlic)
    salt, to taste
    1 tsp Eastern turmeric powder
    2 tbsp ground coriander
    1 tsp Eastern garam masala
    1 tsp Eastern chilli powder (optional, I don’t use it)
    5 medium ripe tomatoes, pureed
    900g chicken pieces, skinned
    3 cups water, more if needed
    handful of fresh coriander leaves


1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick fry pan (or saucepan).  Add the whole spices and fry for about 20 seconds until aromatic.
2. Add the onion and cook over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes until golden, stirring often.
3. While the onion is cooking chop up the tomatoes then place in a bowl. Use a stick blender to puree them.
4. Add the ginger and garlic to the pan and cook for about a minute then add salt and powdered spices.  Stir for a further 20 – 30 seconds.
5.  Pour in the tomatoes and cook over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes, until the liquid int he pan has dried off and you are left with a dry(ish) masala.
6. Add the chicken and brown over moderate to high heat for about 4 minutes.
7. Add enough water to almost cover the chicken, bring to the boil and then cook over a slow to moderate heat until the chicken is cooked through.  I find the slower it cooks, the better it will taste.  Cooking time will be from 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the chicken joints.
8. Just before serving, stir in the fresh coriander leaves.  This dish can be served with rice and a side of Indian Spiced Green Vegetables.


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