For any non vegetarian in India, chicken curry is probably the most commonly eaten dish. It is the easiest protein available, is not as expensive as red meat, is super versatile and cooks quickly. What more do you need?
This curry is my go-to primarily because it has all the familiar flavours of a simple home-style chicken curry and comes together without fuss thanks to the pressure cooker. Easy peasy!
I first started cooking this when I moved to Bombay with the husband. I was craving chicken curry the way it was made at home and was looking through recipes online to figure out what would be the best to make. Most recipes called for cooking in a pan, which, while great, meant it took more time and needed me to watch over it. I was in a rush, after a long day at work and didn’t want to spend time standing in the kitchen.
Who do I call for help in this situation? D, our help at home, who has taken care of us since we were tiny tots. I know the chicken curry at our house is made in the pressure cooker but I had never tried to make it. D gave me a broad recipe, because she doesn’t believe in measures and times – it is all about instinct, epic cook that she is 🙂 I took those broad instructions and tried to make the dish. Turned out pretty well if I might say so myself! Only drawback was it was a little watery. Since then I have made this so many time, with a few tweaks here and there, that it is now just the way I like it!
I have fed this to pretty much everyone who has visited – my sister, parents, friends – everyone! And everyone has said it reminded them of home. Mission Accomplished!
One thing I do differently from home is that I marinate the chicken for 30 minutes before getting started with cooking. I find this adds more flavour to the chicken but is optional if you are low on time.
The dish is flavoured with whole spices, onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, fresh coriander and some masalas. Basic, simple ingredients found in every home.
Once the whole spices splutter, add the onions and powdered spices and cook down for a few minutes. Then in go the tomatoes which are cooked down till soft and slightly mushy.
Now the best part. Add the chicken and let it cook for a short while. This helps to brown the chicken a little and seal in all that flavour.
Fresh coriander, water, seasoning and it is ready to be pressure cooked. 3 whistles and done. It is really that easy. No wonder it is my everyday curry recipe 🙂 Once you try this, it will be yours too!
Pressure cooker chicken curry
1kg chicken – curry cut (with bone)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric (haldi) powder
1 tsp coriander (dhania) seeds
1 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds
3 dried red chillies
1 bay leaf (tej patta)
2 black cardamom (badi elaichi)
1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
4 cloves (laung)
4 green cardamom (choti elaichi)
3 medium onions – diced fine
3 cloves of garlic – diced fine
1 inch ginger – diced fine
1/4 tsp turmeric (haldi)
2 tomatoes – lightly pulsed (Still chunky)
1/4 cup fresh coriander – chopped (plus some extra for garnish)
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 cup water
salt to taste
1.5 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp lemon juice
- Wash and dry the chicken pieces. Marinate in lemon juice, salt, chilli powder and turmeric. Let it rest for 30 minutes. If you are short on time, feel free to skip this step.
- Heat the oil in a 5L pressure cooker. Add the cumin, coriander, dried red chillies, bay leaf, cinnamon, pepper, cardamom (black and green) and cloves. Once they splutter, add the diced onions, garlic and ginger.
- Cook on low heat till the onions brown slightly and become soft.
- Add turmeric powder and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the chunky, blitzed tomatoes with a pinch of salt. Cook for about 5-7 minutes till the tomatoes become soft and oil releases from the sides.
- Add the chicken, increase the heat and cook for about 5 minutes to seal in the flavours.
- Lower the heat, add the fresh coriander and garam masala. Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the water, adjust salt and close the lid. Let the chicken cook for about 20-25 minutes (3-4 whistles).
- Release the pressure, adjust salt and add a little lemon juice. Serve with hot rice 🙂