Chicken Curry with Poppy Seeds

Last few weeks I have mostly made fish, pork or ground chicken and the soul had been craving for some good ol' chicken curry for quite sometime! So I got myself some Whole Chicken Legs - thighs and drumsticks. I kinda find the dark meat more flavorful and like cooking my chicken curry with the dark cut. I did not follow any particular recipe for this and used spices that I felt would work. I was determined not to use any of my tried and tested recipes so I added poppy seeds/khus khus/posto-dana to give the gravy some texture and some nuttiness.

Before I started making the chicken curry, I started the dough for pita bread.  While I left the dough alone for it to rise, I started my prep work for the chicken curry. I was extremely pleased the way the chicken curry turned out - and along with the Whole-wheat Pitas that I roasted on the stove-top the meal turned out to be kind of rustic yet extremely flavorful! 

  • Chicken - 1 3/4 pound or about 750 gm
  • Onions - 2 Cups, finely chopped
  • Ginger-garlic paste - 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Turmeric - 1 tsp
  • Paprika - 1/2 tsp (use red chili powder if prefer more heat)
  • Powdered Spices - 1 tbsp (see below)
  • Sugar - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Water - 1 Cup + 1 tbsp
For Powdered Spices, grind together the following. (Store the extra in an airtight container for next time). If you are using your wet grinder, then soak the poppy seeds for at least 10 minutes before grinding. 
  • Poppy Seed - 2 tbsp
  • Dry Red Chili - 1 (or 2 if you prefer more heat)
  • Cinnamon - 1 1/2 inch stick
  • Cloves - 4
  • Cardamom - 4
  • Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Coriander Seeds - 1 tsp
Marinate the chicken pieces with turmeric and paprika and set aside for at least half an hour. Mix the powder spices with 1 tbsp of water and set aside.
Heat oil in a non-stick wok and fry the onions along with the sugar till they caramelize a little. Add the chicken pieces to it and cook for few minutes. Next goes the ginger-garlic paste and 2 tbsp of the powdered spices paste. Cook for a few minutes while stirring and scraping frequently, till the oil starts to leave the sides. Cover and let it simmer for few minutes and you will that the chicken is starting to leave water. Give it a quick stir and continue cooking till for few more minute, uncovered. Now pour in the water, reduce the heat, cover and let it cook till the water reduces to half.

The 4.5 year old enjoyed dunking strips of the warm pita bread into the curry and eating!


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