Chicken Curry – Northern India – Punjab

wWe are celebrating Northern India for February.  Saturday I visited the local Indian store to grab some ingredients.  The menu that I chose was red lentil soup, chicken curry and for dessert carrot halwa.  When I went up to the counter with a scant few ingredients, the owner asked me why I wanted the red lentils. I told her the menu I came up with. She said you don’t want lentil dal (not soup) and curry, they do not go together. I ended up spending 2 hours with her. She wrote out recipes explaining how to make chicken curry, okra/potato dry spice and taro.  I didn’t even get her name.  However, I know she was born in Punjab and grew up in Bombai.  She told me that in De Pere the Indian community is mainly from southern India.  The flavors in southern India are with more heat and coconut.  Northern India are with some heat and water/milk.  Then we went back to her writing out this menu to share with my family.  She said next time I come back she will write up Tandoori.  Also, I will get her name!  Thank you owner of Astha Grocery and Gifts, De Pere WI.  If you love Indian food give her a visit and make sure you have time to visit.

Chicken Curry
(serving for 6)

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Ingredients

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons butter (ghee is preferred)
6 – chicken legs and thighs, bone in, cut at joint
2 red onions, diced fine
4 tomatoes, pureed in food processor or chopped very fine
1 head/knob of garlic (yes, that much garlic), diced fine
ginger root, 1 1/2 inch slice, diced fine
3 green chili, sliced, remove seed and diced small
1 bunch coriander leaves/cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 small potato, diced, about 3/4 inch in size
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder for marinating chicken and 1/2 teaspoon for curry
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (Kashmiri Mirch)
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
2  teaspoons Chicken Masala powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
pinch brown sugar
Juice of lime

Directions

  1. Marinate chicken with salt and turmeric. 30 minutes.
  2. Cut ginger root 1 1/2 inches, dice into small pieces
  3. Full head of garlic, dice into small pieces
  4. 2 red onions, diced into small pieces
  5. Green Chilies, slit from middle to end and take out the ALL of the seeds, dice into small pieces. (Next time, one or two more chilies)
  6. Tomatoes, you can cut into small pieces or put in food processor to puree.  It is recommended to use the food processor. Cut out top stem part. No need to deseed the tomato. Cut into quarters and put in processor, puree.
  7.  Bunch of cilantro, chop off ends.  Cut in 1/2.  Chop leaves and set aside.  Chop leaves/part stem and set aside.
  8. In large pot over medium heat quickly brown both sides of chicken.  You do not need to add oil at this time.  Take out chicken and set aside.
  9. In the same pot over medium to medium low heat, put 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons of butter (ghee is preferred but for my first recipe she said butter was acceptable.  If I continue to make Indian dishes, ghee is a must purchase item).
  10. Add, cumin seed, ginger, garlic and green chili.
  11. When color changes, put in diced onion, wait until it turns brown.  Add salt.
  12. Saute until the onions are browned, about 30-40 minutes.
  13. Add chili powder, turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, tomato puree, chicken masala, wait for tomatoes to cook down stock by covering pot.  30 minutes. (Next time I will increase the spices.  Instead of 1/2 I will go to 1 teaspoon.)
  14. Add chicken, potato and 1/2 coriander/cilantro into pot.  Cook until chicken falls off bone.  45-60 minutes.
  15. If the gravy is dry, add 1/2-1 cup water to your liking.  The chicken releases liquid and you may not need to add any liquid at all.  (I did not need any liquid.)
  16. When done add salt to taste, pinch of brown sugar, garam masala, lime juice and cilantro for garnish.img_5060

We all enjoyed the Curry.  Next time I will play around with the dry spices.  I think they could have been kicked up a notch.  It was definitely simple and delicious.

 

 

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