Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Chicken Curry V2.0

Yes that's the chicken curry I made today. Yes it has that glistening citrine colored layer of oil on top but that's trademark of authentic south-asian curries. Eh it doesn't look that good but once it sits on your tongue and seeps through your taste buds, you're going to be in culinary heaven {wow, I sound like a food critique lol}. So I first attempted chicken curry when I was a freshman in college and ever since it has evolved quite a lot. There are probably ten billion versions of chicken curry and usually one tastier than the other. I have many versions but the one I am about to share is my favorite as it is comforting, wholesome and delicious! I must say I borrowed a lot of the ideas if not the whole recipe entirely from mommy dearest. Also, there is no particular reason why I call it V2.0...I just like using it as going in with the whole Web 2.0 revolution. So here it is:

1/2 of a whole chicken (cut up into pieces)
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 tbsp garlic chopped
1 tbsp ginger chopped
2 shallots chopped
2 red potatoes cubed
3 seranno/jalapeno peppers chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp roasted coriander powder
1 tbsp roasted cumin powder
1 tbsp roasted garam masala powder
1 tsp pickle (I like Patak's Hot Mango Relish)
Salt to taste

I marinate the chicken overnight with salt, yogurt, garlic and ginger (so that on the actual day of cooking I don't have to smell like garlic and ginger). Next day, heat a heavy bottomed pan with vegetable oil. Add the cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. Wait to splutter. These gems might look like little nothings but they add such a robust flavor to the whole dish. Add chopped shallots and brown them. Add a little garlic and keep browning but don't burn because we all know burnt garlic is as good as burnt plastic. Add the chopped seranno/jalapeno peppers. Follow with all the spices viz. turmeric, red chilli, coriander, cumin and garam masala powders. Roast them for half a minute for all their oils to release. Now add the chicken and salt. Stir everything together and lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Check on it every now and then to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom.Add some of the mango pickle, stir and cover. Add the cubed potatoes. Now would be a good time to check the salt...nothing like poorly salted chicken curry. Add half a cup of water (or more or less depending on how dry or wet you want it but enough to cook the chicken thoroughly without sticking to the bottom). Cook for another 20 minutes. I like when the chicken is semi-soft and almost falling off the bones---neither like mush nor like cartillagy. Turn the stove off and enjoy it either with fluffy white rice or some buttered bread.

Disclaimer: I am not by any means claiming to be a great cook or the chairman of chicken curry recipes, I just like this one and thought of sharing it with you guys.

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