Till the time I was maybe 15, the only kind of chicken curry I’d had anywhere in India was the tomato-onion gravy, slightly spicy variety. These are delicious, without doubt. But sometime after that, I can’t exactly remember when, I had this other curry. No tomatoes. Not brown in colour. Not heavy on spices. Light, refreshing but still chicken curry. WHAAA!?!
Our help at home, who has been with us since I was born (so a LOOONG time) came up with this recipe. I think she learned it from somewhere and then added her own touch to it. It is amaze. It has the sourness from the yoghurt, the tenderness of the chicken, the bite from the onion and the hint of aromatic spices. It’s a perfect dish when the summers are yuck and hot and you can’t bear the thought of a heavy/spicy curry but want chicken curry nonetheless.
This is one of my favourite go-to meals. So easy, so tasty and fairly quick to make. On many days when I’m back from work and making dinner, this is my first choice.
Hope you try it and get to the experience the happiness of a new chicken curry 🙂
500g chicken pieces, bone-in
200 ml yoghurt
1/4 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp mustard oil
1/2 tsp fennel (saunf) seeds
1 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds
2 dried red chillies
1/2 tsp coriander (dhania) seeds
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp turmeric (haldi) powder
1/4 cup water
salt to taste
- Wash and pat dry the chicken
- Beat the yoghurt till it is smooth. Mix in the salt, pepper, lemon juice, chilli powder and garam masala. Add the chicken pieces to this and marinate for at least 30 minutes (if you have time, marinate for 2 hours for the flavours to mix in even better)
- Blitz the onion and garlic (without water) to get a paste
- Once you are ready to begin cooking, add mustard oil to a pan and let it heat up. To the hot oil, add the fennel, cumin and coriander seeds, along with dried red chilli.
- Add the onion garlic paste and let it cook for about 5 minutes, till the onion has softened and is a little golden brown. Make sure it doesn’t get too dark
- Add the turmeric, cook for 30 seconds
- Add the chicken (along with the marinade) and water. Don’t add more than 1/4 cup water at this stage as the chicken will release water while it cooks. (If after about 15 minutes, you think this is too dry for your preference, add another 1/4 cup and cook till mixed together)
- Cover the chicken and let it cook on a low-medium flame for about 30 mins. Stir at the 15 minute mark to make sure its not sticking to the bottom. Taste while stirring and adjust seasoning if required.
- Once chicken is cooked, serve with roti or rice. Garnish on top with some fresh coriander.