Fresh green chili peppers and ripe red tomatoes make this curry just right for the summer time.
The inspiration of this recipe came from a curry cooked by a friend’s mom. There was a fresh flavor that seemed to linger forever. This curry was a different kind. I guessed, I thought and the next time I met her I made sure I asked her what she had in it. It turned out to be one of those few Indian chicken curries which will not need you to shed tears chopping onions. The surprise fresh flavor was the enticing flavor of the green chili pepper along with loads of ripe summer tomatoes.
I had not asked for the exact recipe, so with the mentioned main ingredients I made this my way. As expected it was not exactly the kind she made, but it did have the flavors that made me try this out. Did I forget to mention that this is going to be made many times for my friends and family now?
Chicken Curry with Tomato and Green Chili Pepper
- 2 lbs chicken, skinless + with or without bones
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 lbs tomatoes
- 10 green hot chili pepper, Thai- bird kind (if it gets too spicy for you, remove the seeds and the membrane – the flavor of this dish comes from the fresh green chili peppers so do not go less on this)
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 2″ piece of ginger
- 1 teaspoon turmeric + 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 cup oil
- 2 whole big black cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- more hot chili pepper for garnish if you wish
Wash and pat dry the chicken. Marinate with salt, 1 teaspoon turmeric and lime juice for about half an hour.
Grind the ginger and garlic into a paste.
Blend/puree hot green peppers and tomatoes. (do not use any water)
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Add the cracked black cardamom pods and the cumin seeds.
When the seeds sizzle add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for about 3-4 minutes at medium heat.
Add the chicken pieces (save the marinade) to the pot and cook the chicken on both sides – a few minutes each side till you start seeing brown spots on the chicken. (You might need to scrape the bottom of the pot a few times. If you feel the spice mix is getting burnt reduce the heat and sprinkle some water once in a while.)
Once the chicken has brown spots, add the tomato and the chili paste, salt and the 1 teaspoon of turmeric. Cover and simmer at medium heat till the chicken is almost done. Then uncover, add the marinade and cook till the sauce/gravy is of desired consistency -the sauce will not be very soupy and not clingy either. The sauce will also look more oily and the oil should be leaving the sides of the pan. There should be a couple of tablespoons of sauce for each chicken piece in the pot. The chicken should be tender and start coming out of the bone.
When done, add the garam masala, stir it in and cover till ready to serve. The curry may be re heated in the pot or transferred to the serving pan and heated in the microwave or oven.
Garnish with more sliced chili pepper. Serve with rice or any flat bread.
A, who is not fond of chicken or any non vegetarian dishes for that matter, loved the sauce! The chicken were spared but the sauce was much appreciated and loved. To make a vegetarian version, use paneer or potatoes with the sauce.