Traditional Chicken Curry

August 09, 2009

Recipes ›

Neha's fish Rana died today. It's about the 12th one that has perished in the tank of ... death. With this book on my plate and another Sun-Times piece to work on I'm so not interested in cleaning a fish tank in the 3-4 minutes I usually have to myself in a day. Unfortunately, Neha insisted through tears that we keep Rana downstairs in a cup. Inside the house so the rats don't get it in the middle of the night. So..I have a dead fish in a plastic cup sitting on my shoe rack right now waiting to be buried tomorrow. Olena - our wonderful au pair. If you are reading this - guess what you get to do tomorrow?!

But, between all this madness I had to post this recipe for my good college buddy Becki! I'm so glad we're connected again through Facebook and now this blog. I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe - and anyone else who tries it. I modified it today and Sandeep says it's excellent. You be the judge...

Traditional Chicken Curry
Cooker: 5-quart medium crockpot
Settings, cooking times: low for 8 hours
For those that are not clear - this is a slow cooker recipe. Thus the 8 hours is not too much cooking time! It's perfect!

When most people think of Indian food the first thing that comes to mind is a good chicken curry. Because I never grew up eating this dish, I relied on my husband’s childhood version for this recipe. He says the best chicken curry is made only with a rich sauce and no vegetables. Though many recipes call for chopped cauliflower or carrots, I’ve tried to remain true to his tastes for this one.

3 pounds chicken, skinned and cut into about 8 pieces (boneless works too)
1 large yellow onion, or 2 medium, peeled and chopped into 8 pieces
2 tomatoes, cut in 4 pieces each
5-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
10 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon garam masala
¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup plain yogurt (fat, low-fat, or non-fat)
1 tablespoon red chili powder
1 cup dry methi (fenugreek) leaves
1 cinnamon stick, 2-3 inches long
4 green cardamom pods
4 cloves
4-6 green Thai, Serrano or cayenne chilies, cut lengthwise
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
½ cup water (optional)

Put chicken in slow cooker. If using frozen always remember in a slow cooker to defrost meat thoroughly first. Frozen items should never go into a slow cooker, as it's tough to get the heat to the desired cooking level with frozen vegetables and meats.

In a food processor grind onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, salt, and turmeric. Be patient. This may take a few minutes. You want the paste to be as smooth as possible. I did not need to use water to get the process started, as the onion added enough moisture. If you need to, you can always add small amounts of water...about a tablespoon.

In a bowl, whisk together above paste, garam masala, oil, yogurt, red chili powder, and methi. Pour into slow cooker over the chicken.

Add cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, and chilies. Mix gently.

Cook on low for 8 hours. Add water towards the end of the cooking process only if you want more broth with your chicken. (I did not add water to my dish as the onions let off enough water themselves). Garnish with cilantro.

Remove whole spices and serve over bed of Basmati/brown rice or with roti/naan.[figend]

What is methi? This is dried fenugreek leaves. It is hands down a great ingredient to keep handy. It can be purchased easily from any Indian grocer. You can add it to many dishes from vegetables to meat. My aunt in England also uses it to flavor her paranthas. If you don't have it for this dish - don't worry. Just remember to pick it up for the next time around.

If you want more or less heat (spice) always remember to adjust the amount of red chili powder and the green chilies to your taste. Neha ate this version. Aria thought it was a bit spicy. She was okay with it once I mixed it in with some lentils.



Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla

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10 Comments

Indian As Apple Pie
Indian As Apple Pie

March 09, 2010

Hi Pat…thank you for writing and for trying my butter chicken. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! As for the cup of methi…yes. Try it with a cup or a little less (dry methi). I love that much in there. But, again, if you're concerned this might be too much for you just shave it to 1/2 cup and up it after for the next time you make it. The dry methi is sort of fluffy, doesn't really settle in there flat so it's not a packed cup but a loosely filled cup. Does that make sense?

Raj Shah
Raj Shah

October 15, 2009

Why kill innocent chicks for taste??

renjith
renjith

November 01, 2009

Dear mam,
Please post a recipe as to what to do with left over chicken curry. If we simply heat it, it doesnt get the taste, or tastes dull.
Any mixing can be done, so that it wud b as fresh as normal,
Bachelors like me, can use dat recipe a lot!
Renjith

Pat
Pat

March 08, 2010

Please confirm that the recipe calls for 1 cup of Methi. That seems like a lot!!
Thank you. Your butter chicken is delicious.

Anonymous
Anonymous

August 11, 2009

Hey Anupes, yesterday I tried your chicken curry, all I can say thumbs up!!! It was mind blowing. Honestly,chicken was super soft, felt as if I didn't need teeth to chew….shiven surprised me by eating it, so tells me I need to make it more often…Thanks, Juhi

Indian As Apple Pie
Indian As Apple Pie

August 11, 2009

Yahoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!! That's so super awesome. I love the fact that you tried it already. Thanks, Juhi. And thanks little Shiven. You are a super eater already. I love it.

BIOBurn3
BIOBurn3

August 17, 2009

YUM YUM YUM, thats all I can say. You are consistently hitting it on the nose with your food. I am so excited for your cookbook to hit the shelf so Brennan and I can start making these recipes at home, our friend Vijay has been promised a meal by Brennan for a few months I think we are going to suprise him by making traditional indian food and your recipes as a guide. I know he will enjoy it as every time he is in town we always go for Indian Cuisine.

The chicken curry again was fabulous, I'm not sure there is anything you can't put into that crockpot and not turn out fabulous.

Miral Patel
Miral Patel

August 10, 2009

"In a food processor grind onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, salt, and turmeric. Be patient. This may take a few minutes. You want the paste to be as smooth as possible."

Do we need to add water into this before start grinding and I am hopping that this will test typicall dhaba style chicken that we get in India.

Miral Patel
Miral Patel

August 10, 2009

"If you want more or less heat always remember to adjust the amount of red chili powder and the green chilies"

You asked to cook for 8hrs, that seems too much. What do you mean by adjusting red chilli and green chilies as more heat or less heat.

Indian As Apple Pie
Indian As Apple Pie

August 10, 2009

Hi Miral. You do not need to add any water when you start grinding because the onion has enough moisture to do the trick. If your processor stalls, feel free to add a tiny bit of water, maybe a tablespoon. I just mean that if you want to adjust how hot (spicy) this dish is you can add more or less red chili powder or green chilies. I hope you will tell me if this is dhaba style. I don't know as I only eat gol gappas out in India. I'm not a big meat eater…but again my husband is and loved it. The 8 hours is fine. Don't worry, I just made it last night. Try it. Remember keep the cooker on low for the 8 hours of cooking. The masala needs to cook the 8 hours to not be "kacha". Also, after 8 hours the chicken is still totally tender. Though I did use chicken on bone. If you use boneless let me know if it works to cook for the 8 hours. I think it will be fine! Good Luck.

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