This is a chicken curry with Indian flavors but with a distinctive personality. It is unique with beautiful flavors, and ingredients and it is surprisingly mild compared to a traditional Indian chicken curry.
On the first thought, red bell pepper is not a very likely ingredient for an Indian chicken curry. As Anjum mentions in her book, ” This is not a common combination of ingredients, but it is the one that really works well….The finished dish almost reminds me of a Hungarian dish with paprika and sour cream…”. And this is what drew me in to trying this recipe from Anjum Anand’s Anjum’s New Indian, the so unusual combination of chicken, sweet peppers, sour cream and the popular Indian spices. The picture of the dish was pretty, vibrant…
and it really turned it to be as scrumptious as she claimed it to be.
I almost stuck to all the ingredients and the method of preparation except for marinating the chicken before cooking, only because I almost always marinate chicken. I love the flavors and the sweetness of the roasted red pepper; the original recipe uses the red pepper just by itself, but I have roasted the peppers before finally adding them to the dish and I will always do it this way whenever I make this dish. I also wanted a drier version and therefore had less sauce than the original recipe asked for; again recipes are adaptable, make it the way your heart and mood desires.
Chicken with Sour Cream and Roasted Red Pepper
Adapted from Anjum Anand’s Chicken with Sour Cream and Red Bell Pepper from Anjum’s New Indian
Ingredients: (serves 4-6)
- 1.5 lbs chicken, skinned and cut into 2 inch pieces (I have used boneless chicken breasts here)
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1.5 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons red chile powder (or to taste)
- 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, roasted
- 5 tablespoons sour cream
- 1.5 teaspoons garam masala
Wash the chicken and pat dry. Add some salt and lemon juice and marinate for an hour or more if you can.
Coat the bell pepper with oil. Roast the bell pepper on a skillet or open fire or broil in the over till the skin outside is charred. Place the roasted pepper in a ziploc bag till it is cooled. Peel the blackened skin and chop the roasted bell pepper in squares or strips.
Make a paste with the ginger and garlic and water (only as much needed) in a blender.
Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add the chopped onion and cook until they are light brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook until the water is all gone and the paste has fried for about a minute after that. Add the salt, chile powder and the coriander powder; stir in the spices. Add the tomatoes and cook covered until the tomatoes softened. Uncover and cook until water is all gone and the oil starts to separate from the sides.
Remove the chicken from the marinade. Discard the liquid. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and toss. Cook the chicken till they start browning on both sides. Add about 1.5 cups of water, cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and tender – about 20 minutes.
Uncover and add the roasted bell peppers and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Increase the heat and boil off and reduce the liquid in the pan. There should be just enough sauce to coat the spice mix to coat the chicken pieces. (if you want more sauce leave some liquid in the pan). Switch off the heat.
Add the sour cream and the garam masala to the pan and slowly stir them in. If there are spices stuck at the bottom of the pan, use a splash of boiling water to loosen. The sauce should be the creamy kind.
Serve hot with Naan/bread or over rice.
It was different and delicious; a perfect balance of tangy, spicy, creamy with a hint of sweet from the red peppers. Loved it!