There are always some favorites & we can never get tired of cooking or eating over & over again, this simple chicken being one of them. I have grown up eating this on a lot of lazy weekends, when we all sat together & spent hours on the dining table, catching up with each other. There is nothing fancy about this chicken curry, it’s very simple, straightforward and quick to make.
There are endless variation to a Chicken Curry, every household having their own way to do it. This one does not have any special spice or magic in it, except for the very common ones used almost everyday in an Indian home. This brings back memories of my childhood & my mom, & how the aroma of this would make us hungry & we could not wait for lunch/dinner to be served. Based on the simple onion tomato Curry Sauce, this is probably the most commonly cooked chicken curry in our home & it is magic repeated every time.
Chicken with bones but skinless -(about 15-20 pieces in all, each piece about 3 inches) approx. 4 lbs/2 kilos
- 2 Tablespoons of Ginger Paste (I use Fresh Ginger, & blend it into a paste at home)
- 2 Tablespoons of Garlic Paste (Use Fresh Garlic cloves & blend into a paste)
- 1/2 Onion Chopped
- 4 Tablespoons Yogurt
- 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 5-6 Tablespoons of Oil
- 1″ stick of Cinnamon
- 2 Green Cardamoms
- 2 Cloves
- 2 large Red Onion ( Peeled & sliced thinly lengthwise)
- 2 tablespoons ginger paste
- 2 tablespoons garlic paste
- 2 cups chopped Tomatoes (or 1.5 cup Tomato Puree)
- 2 Teaspoons Red Chili Powder (Optional/more or less to taste)
- 1 Tablespoon Coriander Powder (Optional – skip it if you do not have any)
- 2 Green Hot Peppers like Thai Bird Chili (Optional)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- Fresh Chopped Cilantro/Coriander for garnish
Wash the chicken well, & combine all ingredients of the marinade with the chicken pieces. Let it sit for a couple of hours, overnight being better.
Place a Thick Bottomed Stock Pot or Dutch oven on the stove. Add the Cinnamon, cardamoms & cloves & dry roast them at medium heat for a few minutes till they are fragrant. Take care they do not turn dark & burn.
Add the oil to the pan, & when the spices starts to sizzle, add the sliced onions, green chili & the sugar. Stir fry at high heat till the onions starts caramelizing & turns light brown.
Pick up the pieces of chicken from the marinade & add them to the pan. Save the marinade.
Fry the Chicken turning them sometimes so both the sides slightly brown & the oil & the onions coat the chicken pieces.
Add salt, turmeric, red chili powder, ginger paste, garlic paste, coriander powder, the rest of the marinade & tomatoes. At medium heat fry for about 15 -20 minutes till the oil starts to separate. Stir & scrape out the bottom of the pan frequently. If you feel that it is getting sticky at the bottom of the pan, sprinkle some water & scrape it out… (Don’t burn the mix, it should not turn dark brown or black… )
When the oil separates & starts to leave the side of the, add 2.5 cups of water. Stir to mix, Cover & cook for another 15 -20 minutes or till the chicken is tender & cooked.
This should have some gravy, like a soup, & enough to soak up the bread. If you need less gravy, uncover & boil it down.
Garnish with fresh cilantro/coriander & serve with Rice or Flatbread!
We usually enjoy this chicken curry over a weekend lunch, when we can all relax & sit together & eat. Sometimes with plain rice, & sometimes with some flat breads dunking them in the sauce. The chicken curry would be mostly accompanied with some cucumber tomato salad (Kachumber), fresh squeeze of lemon on the rice & the curry & ending with sweet Bengali Chutney.