Recipe for Jammin’s Chicken Curry
This is the dish that I prepare when I am staying with people and they request me to cook an Indian dish. With all the good vibes that emanate when people eat my curry, I’ve got a new tagline for my trip: Spreading Eudaimonia thru Curry Diplomacy
Ingredients for 4 people (scalable)
1 whole chicken or 8 thighs
4 large onions
1 whole garlic bulb (8-10 cloves)
5 cm (2 in) ginger root
6 medium tomatoes (soft and ripe)
4 serrano peppers or equivalent chilies (skip the chilies if you can’t handle too much spice)
2 heaped table spoons curry powder (or more for a stronger flavour)
8 table spoons (or more) canola oil
2 tea spoons salt (or more depending on taste)
1 bunch of cilantro
Chop whole chicken into individual pieces (remove the skin to be a bit healthier)
Dice onions and tomatoes into 1/2 cm squared (1/4 in sq)
Dice garlic and ginger
Dice chili peppers (leave the seeds if you like it hotter)
Things to remember to make this curry a success
– add each ingredient slowly to the pot, a little at a time
– how well you fry the onions will determine how the curry comes out
– listen to the pot as the oil and water from the ingredients are clashing and keep the sound steady throughout
– use a thick walled pot
– have a strong flame
In a thick-walled pot, heat up about 6 tbs of oil or enough to cover the bottom of the pot. When oil is hot, add a few onions and start stir-frying. Listen to the sizzle between the hot oil and the water from the onions. This is an indicator of the temperature of the dish. Try and keep this stable. As the onions fry (and the water evaporates), the sizzle will lower in volume, at this point, add a few more onions. The bigger the flame you have, the faster you can add all the onions. Always have enough oil in the dish to coat the onions liberally in oil. The onions should be fried till they are golden-brown, getting dark. This will take about 15 mins or more. Be patient. The secret to a good curry is frying the onions to the proper state.
After about 10 mins of frying the onions, add the ginger, then the chilies. When all the onions are close to being golden-brown, add the garlic. The flame throughout should be on medium-high to high. When the garlic has been slightly roasted, start adding in the pieces of the chicken one at a time, stir-frying each piece for about 30 seconds before adding in the next piece. Start with the larger pieces and the ones with more bones first. When all the pieces are in, add the curry powder and salt, stir-frying the dish the whole time.
After about 2 mins, slowly start adding in the tomatoes. This is where the curry gets its sauce from. Add a few tbs of tomatoes and then mix them into the dish until they soften, then add a few more. This process can take about 5-10 mins. After all the tomatoes are in, lower the flame and do a taste test for salt and add more if needed. If you want it more liquidy, add some hot water. Check to see if the big pieces of chicken are cooked with a knife. Once the chicken is cooked, the dish is done. Turn off the stove and either chop the cilantro or just pull apart with your hands and sprinkle over the dish. Cover the pot and let the garnishing of the cilantro work into the curry.
Goes well with rice, naan (Indian flat bread) or any other kind of bread.
Just in case, here’s how to make a good pot of rice on the stove
Put some oil in the pot, then 1 cup of rice and stir-fry for a minute. Add 2 cups of water and once the water is boiling, lower the flame to minimum and cover the pot. After about 15 – 20 mins, check to see if all the water has been absorbed by the rice. When the water is gone, the rice is ready. Do a taste test and if the rice is still raw inside, add some more water and wait for it to be absorbed.
Happy Eating – use your fingers for a tastier experience!