When I call this Indian chicken curry, i mean it as opposed to Caribbean or African or Thai etc, because we now know that there is curry in so many different parts of the world. I refrain from giving a region specific name within India, like calling it Andhra Chicken curry, because i am not cooking this from any recipe and would be reluctant to pass it off as an authentic local item just because i hail from there. This rather is the curry i spoke about here, the one i learnt from my husband and the only variety of chicken curry he seems to prefer.
We don't use all the ingredients from scratch. We use the spice mixes and ready-made spice pastes available in the market. We have experimented with different brands over the months and have concluded that the brand called 'Everest' chicken masala powder is the most aromatic and the brand called 'Priya' (probably an Andhra brand and is more famous for its pickles) has the best non-veg masala paste to be used as the marinade base. So i won't lie and give you the spice ingredients from scratch, because for this i am shamelessly using packet spice mixes and ginger garlic pastes. If you must know, we like the 'Hommade' garlic and ginger pastes. Its not a spelling mistake. In case you just got tricked into thinking "Oh, at least she makes her garlic and ginger pastes at home". No, its just a clever trick employed by Dabur in creating this easy to remember brand name for cooking pastes and coconut milks and the like. At other times I do use fresh garlic and ginger in my cooking, and i am not even remotely promoting any of the above products. (I just might if i was getting paid to do it). But once in a while, it is OK to use pre-packed ingredients. Nigella Lawson does, so i am probably on way to fame. Yeah, wishful thinking ;-)
- 800 grams chicken, skinless, one whole cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons salt - adjust according to taste
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Everest Chicken masala powder
- 3 tablespoons Priya Non-veg curry masala paste
- 4 medium onions, finely chopped
- 6-8 fresh, hot, green chilies, chopped
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3 sprigs of curry leaves (optional)
- 1 cup of mint leaves (optional, but recommended)
- 1 bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped for garnish (optional)
Wash the chicken and drain all the water. Mix all the marinade ingredients and rub into the chicken. Alow to rest for 30 minutes either in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Meanwhile chop the green chilies and onions. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add mustard and cumin seeds to the hot oil and allow to splutter. Add the onions, green chilies and curry leaves, if using. Saute for a few minutes until the onions are soft and slightly browned.
Add the marinated chicken pieces along with the marinade paste and cook for 5 minutes. Now add two cups of water and mint leaves, and cook until the chicken is done, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from flame and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve with rice. Now, wasn't that easy?