Monday, 28 December 2009
About the food:
Chicken curry is one of the most common Indian dishes, and yet it is a delicacy. I remember my childhood days, when it was a coveted special item on the Sunday menus. We awaited the Sundays for this delicious meal.
It reminds me always of the funny event: me and my younger sister always resisted the idea that it could only be a Sunday dish, and our mom, frustrated arguing, threw a challenge. She can serve the meal everyday, until we got bored..we were over the Moon and accepted the challenge instantly. And then it so began..for months, until mom got fed up cooking the same dish again and again..but we sisters were going brave and strong! Needless to say, who won the challenge!
There could be many variations of this dish..you can vary amount of the spices to make it light (which mom obviously did..); you can make the gravy thick or watery, by controlling the water; you can make it hot or mild. The magic lies in your hand..go on, try this out, and let me know how you like it. Bon mange!
Ingredients (serves 5)
1 kg skinless chicken thighs and legs
3 tbsp vegetable oil
5 big onions, made into paste
2 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
4 whole green chilli, split through the centre
1 big tomato, finely chopped
1 tspn whole garam masala ( 4 cloves, 4 cardamon pods, 1/2 inch cardamom stick,broken in pieces)
1 bunch of fresh coriander leaves, chopped for garnishing
1 pinch of turmeric
1 tbsp sugar
salt to taste
1. Wash the chicken pieces and put it in a big bowl. Add the onion, ginger and garlic paste and mix it well. Cover and set it aside for about 1 hour.
2. Heat pan. Pour the oil, and when it smoulders, put the sugar and let it char. It will give a beautiful golden colour to the food. Next add the whole garam masala in the oil and let them crackle. Put the green chillies and fry a little. Put the chopped tomatoes, taking care, as it might splitter. Fry over gentle flame for about a minute.
3. When the tomatoes have formed a gravy, put the marinated chicken into the pan, taking care as it might splitter. Keep the heat low, and keep on frying. It would take about 15-20 mins, depending on the flame. This is the most timetaking and crucial part of the cooking. Keep on frying, often tossing and turning the chicken on low heat, until the oil separates out. Add the salt and turmeric.
4.When chicken gets a golden colour, and the oil separates out, add 200ml (1 cup) of water. You can add more water, if you want, to make a less thicker gravy. Cover the pan and simmer for about 20mins, or until cooked. Toss and turn the chicken pieces in between to avoid their sticking to the pan.
4. Pour the curry to a serving tray and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
5. Serve hot.
Accompaniment: Best served with basmati rice.
Make the gravy a little thick, and it is great with Paratha, served with a dab of mixed pickle, which you would get in jars in the stores.