Friday, May 30, 2014

Mamma's Whole Chicken Curry in Tomato Gravy

I have always been a big fan of chicken since childhood. Mom's chicken curry was the ultimate bribe, to get me to do anything. When guests came over, all I could pray was, for leftovers. That was how much I loved Chicken Curry. Now that I am really watching my food quality and cooking  healthier meals, I realized I have to try finding a better way to make Chicken curry without coconut milk or the rich cashew paste, which used to be my go to recipes. That is how this recipe took form.
A bowl of rice served with this chicken curry is heaven, and it may be just as yummy, served with two chapatis. This curry is the leanest version I have managed to make. Also, I use a tender Chicken or a couple of Cornish game hens, with their skin removed. The using of a whole chicken is what makes this curry full of flavor. You just cannot get that kind of wholesomeness with dry chicken breasts without bones. With the skin added, this curry goes to a whole another level and gets that golden, floating oily layer at the top which just makes eating it with rice even delectable.
This recipe, uses only 2 tsp of oil and you can add or reduce the gravy content by adding water. Adding more oil to it wont make a difference, but depending on your preference you can make this curry with the chicken skin or without.
So here it goes:-

1.5 kg whole chicken (about 3 lbs)- skinned, cleaned and chopped into medium pieces.
2 large onions - thinly sliced
1 can of tomato paste (about 6 oz)
6-8 green chillies, slit
1 large piece of ginger, crushed
12 pieces of garlic, crushed
Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder- 2 tbsp
2 tsp Spice mix (1 bayleaf, 3 green cardamom, 1tbsp fennel seeds, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 2-3 cloves and 1 small star anise roasted and powdered)
Curry leaves- a handful
2 tsp oil
Coriander leaves- to garnish.

1. In a heavy bottomed nonstick pan, heat 2 tsp of oil and swirl it around and add the chopped onions to it. Add a tsp of salt to it and saute well.

2.When glossy, add the green chillies, ginger, garlic and curry leaves to it. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and half of the powdered spice mix to this. Be very careful and do not let it burn. Keep stirring for one minute.

3. Now add the chicken pieces. Add a little more salt (abt 1/2 tsp ) and mix well. Now cover with a tight lid and lower flame to medium and let it cook for 15 minutes.

4. While its cooking, mix the tomato paste with 3 cups of water. After 15 minutes, give the chicken a very good stir and add the mixed tomato paste and water to it. Mix gently and cover with the lid. Bring to a boil and again reduce it to medium. This time let it simmer for almost 20-25 minutes.

5. After 20-25 minutes, it should be a little thicker and giving out a nice aroma. The meat will be really tender. If not, cover and cook another 10 minutes. Add the remaining spice mix and check salt.

6. Remove from fire and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

7. Serve hot with rice or rotis.

Did I tell you, this curry becomes even better the next day? :-)

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