There is something special with Indian food… I guess it’s the complexity with all the flavors going on that just makes you want another bite. It doesn’t necessarily have to be hot, but it’s always spicy with loads of flavors. I throw a bunch of different spices into this curried chicken and they work splendidly well together. The cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, garam masala, ginger, garlic, chili and yellow curry just merging together to create the most wonderful taste. Not to brag about myself but I’m actually very proud of this dish, I even think it beats the food I have had on some Indian restaurants, and that can’t be anything else than good 🙂
The secret in a good curry lies in the spices. Just like in all cooking it’s about finding the right balance between all the ingredients, but in Indian food it really is the vital part. If only one spice overpowers another the outcome won’t be as good and your taste buds will get bored after just a few bites. But when you find the right combination of spices and the balance between them then you’re in for an amazing treat.
One essential part is to use whole spices as far as possible. Forget the pre-ground stuff because they won’t simply do the work just as well. The reason why is because the ground spices tend to lack in flavors just after standing in the cupboards for a short time, the whole spices on the other hand will maintain their flavor for much longer. Another tip is to fry or roast the spices before adding liquid to your stew. In this recipe I fry the spices in some oil together with the chicken and the onions. The oil will attract the fat-soluble flavor compounds and make them burst. Most spices will increase the depth of flavor when heated; the only exception is gentle herbs (dill and basil for example) which you have to handle carefully. More robust herbs such as sage and rosemary will on the other hand yield some extra flavor when fried.
I really recommend you to cook this curried chicken – it’s a dish that’s ticking all the boxes. We served our on a garlic buttered naan but go ahead and serve it with whatever you like. We made it last weekend and on Stefans request we will make it again this weekend as well. I won’t object 🙂
A big thanks to Food Busker (John Quilter) who inspired me to make this dish. Take a look at his vlog, i promise you will be amazed and get a whole new look at street food.
Indian Chicken Curry
1 whole chicken (approx. 1250 g or 700 g deboned)
25 g ginger
25 g garlic
50 g tomato puré
600 g yellow onion
650 g tomatoes
1 ½ tsp garam masala powder
1 ½ tsp yellow curry powder
1 tsp paprika powder
1 cinnamon stick (approx. 10 cm)
2 bay leavs
6 cardamom pods
100 g smetana/yoghurt or crème fraiche
Rice and/or naan bread
Plain- or mint yoghurt
Debone the chicken and cut into small pieces. Peel and finely grate or chop the garlic and ginger. Combine the chicken with the garlic- ginger paste and tomato puré and let it idealy marinate in the fridge for about 8 hours, but a shorter amount of time will do the job just fine.
Peel and slice the onion. Fry the onion on medium heat in some neutral oil for about 5 minutes or until slightly softened. Take the cardamom seeds out of the husks and bash them in a pestle of mortar or grind them in a spice grinder. Finley chop the chili. Depending on the wanted level of heat you can either leave the seeds and the inner white membrane or just remove these parts. The majority of the heat is located in the seeds and the white inner walls. Another thing to think of is that chilies can vary in power from one time to another so have a taste before you decide how much to use. Leave the cloves, cinnamon and bay leves whole. Throw the chili and the spices into the pot and fry togheter with the onions for a few minutes. Turn the heat up and add the chicken. Fry for about 5 minutes or until nicely seared. Dice the tomatoes and add them to the rest of the ingredients, fry for a few minutes before lowering the heat. Let the curry simmer for about half an hour or until about half of the tomato juices has evaporated. Add salt and honey to taste and stir in 100 g of any dairy product. Simmer for another 5 minutes before serving with rice and/or naan bread a dollop of yoghurt, a simple salad, some finely sliced chili and a generous bunch of fresh coriander.