Chicken Curry with Curry Leaves
Here's my ordeal with chicken curry - I can never replicate the same flavors of chicken curry. The reason being - I just eyeball everything & pretty much add whatever I feel like on that particular day. It is always a freestyle chicken curry. So when I get requests to repeat it, I am at a loss. I just cannot remember the combination of spices.
I had a feeling that this chicken curry would get requested again, so I quickly jotted down the measurements on a piece of paper - can't trust my memory anymore!
- Chicken - 2 lbs (about 900 gm)
- Onions - about 2 Cups, thinly sliced in half moons (one huge onion)
- Tomato - 2 medium ones, cubed
- Garlic - 3 or 4 fat cloves, crushed with a blow of your knife
- Coriander Powder - 1 tbsp
- Chili Powder - 1 tsp (or more depending on your heat preference, I used paprika)
- Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
- Freshly grated coconut (or desiccated) - 4 tbsp
- Cilantro - 1 Cup, chopped and tightly packed
- Curry Leaves - 3 sprigs, washed and patted dry with a paper towel.
- Fennel seeds - 1.5 tsp
- Freshly Crushed Black pepper - 2 tsp + 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Marinade 1: I do this extra step for my own satisfaction, an added measure to eliminate any unpleasant 'chickeny' smell that I might get the next day (if there are leftovers).
- Lemon juice - about 1.5 tbsp (half a big lemon)
- Turmeric - 1 tsp
- Paprika - 1 tsp.
- Ginger-garlic paste - 3 tsp
- Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
- Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Marinade the chicken with ingredients under Marinade 1 and let it hang out while you make the second marinade. Now add the ingredients under Marinade 2 and mix well. Stick it in the fridge overnight or at least for 4 hours.
In a pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil on medium heat and fry the onions till translucent. Now add the crushed garlic cloves to it. Next the chopped tomatoes and grated coconut go in along with a little salt, coriander powder, chili powder (or paprika), and turmeric. Mix everything together, cover it and cook for 2-3 minutes. Now throw in the chopped cilantro. Give it one final toss and transfer it to a blender and blitz away to glory till it becomes a smooth paste.
My blender broke couple of weeks back so I had to use my food processor. The only downside was that I did not get a smooth paste. Everything else remains the same.
While your blender is doing its magic, heat up the remaining 1 tbsp oil in another pan on medium high heat.. Temper it with the fennel seeds and curry leaves. Be careful, it will splatter a lot! Add the marinated chicken pieces to it and give it a toss. Fry for a few of minutes - tossing and turning the chicken pieces the whole time. Sprinkle 2 tsp of freshly crushed black pepper and give it one more toss before adding the onion-tomato-cilantro paste. Mix everything well, cover and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes. Keep stirring from time to time, till you see oil leaving the sides. Take off the lid and continue cooking till most of the liquid evaporates and the masala coats the chicken. Finish it off with a sprinkle of freshly crushed black pepper. Put the lid back on and keep it covered till you are ready to serve.
Serve hot with paratha or chapatti.