Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins | Serves 4
- 1 kg chicken (with bone or boneless)
- 2-3 teaspoons plain red chilli powder * see notes
- a generous pinch of turmeric (haldi)
- salt to taste
- 2 medium sized onions finely chopped
- chopped coriander for garnishing
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- oil for shallow frying (approx 3-4 tablespoons)
For the masala:
- 2 tablespoons coriander powder
- 50 grams (approx 3/4th cup) grated coconut
- 50 grams (approx 1/3rd cup) groundnuts/peanuts (with or without skin) * see notes
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds (khus khus) optional (I skipped it)
- 10 grams (3 fat cloves) garlic, peeled
- 10 grams (approx 1 inch) ginger
- 4-5 cloves
- 1 inch piece of cassia bark or cinnamon
- 2 cardamoms
1. Cut the chicken into small sized pieces, wash and drain excess water on a colander. Marinate it with the 2 teaspoons of red chilli powder, turmeric and approx 2 teaspoons of salt (adjust to taste – use less if you wish and later you can increase it). Keep aside for at least 20 mins.
2. Grind all the ingredients mentioned under ‘For the masala’ to a fine paste – use a little water to help grind it to a smooth paste. Remove the paste into a bowl and rinse the mixie jar with approx 1/2 cup of water – reserve this for later use.
3. In a large wok/kadhai heat the oil and fry the onions till light golden. Add the marinated chicken and fry on a high flame for 3-4 minutes. Then cover the pan with a small lid – the closer it is to the chicken pieces the better as it will help the chicken cook in its own juices – this is the steam cooking techinique. Cook for about 5 mins on a medium heat stirring once in between
4. After 5 mins add the ground masala, mix well and add the reserved masala water (from the mixie), mix well, check salt and spice to taste and adjust accordingly.
5. Continue to cook until the chicken is tender and the gravy thickens up and coats all the pieces. Add the lime juice and check the taste – adjust. Remove from heat.
6. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with chapathis, phulkas or rice
1. You can marinate the chicken with 2 teaspoons of chilli powder first and later increase it according to taste. Unless you like very less spicy food 2 teaspoons is ok as the peanuts and coconut based masala will balance the spice. Use good quality Kashmiri chilli powder which gives a mildly spicy taste and great colour.
2. Instead of peanuts you may use cashew nuts or blanched (skinless) almonds. It will definitely enhance the taste of the curry
Recipe adapted from J.B Lobo’s Home Encyclopedia