My Rustic Chicken

My Rustic Chicken
A recipe inspired by my childhood food in India
Simple recipe, simple ingredients and simple process

My Rustic Chicken

This is a rustic dish. A simple dish. The key is the preparation method for the chicken. This is how spices were prepared and used in villages. Only here I’ve used a food processor rather than the traditional stone grinder used back home. Its called a Shil Batta/Nora.

The ingredients are placed at the base nearest to you and ground pressing away from yourself in a push/pull motion.

My shoulders are buggered but otherwise I would have happily blended it the traditional way including using fresh turmeric I always have in the fridge.

I remember watching family members making the spice pastes in villages in Assam and at times I would blend the spices during my visits the old fashioned village way.

This recipe was born out of trying to replicate those methods with some adjustments to take into account current lifestyle, family and geography!

Its a punchy spicy number. If its done properly and bhuna-ed over a good length of time, the taste developed is intense and full of flavour but it does need the real thorough lengthy bhuna period otherwise you will have a raw pungent smelling sauce.

This is a thick sauce, it should be clinging to the chicken. Rich and aromatic when finished. My kitchen smelt tantalising. Enough so that my middle daughter who is off chicken commented she was going to have some sauce with rice. It had lured her!

I hope it does you too!

Ingredients –

To Make Spice Paste:
1 large tomato (diced)
1/2 a small red onion or shallot diced
8 garlic cloves
5 green chillies
1 inch fresh ginger
10 black peppercorns
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
4 dried red chillies

To Make Rustic Chicken:
3-4 Tbsp Oil
2 Tej patta/bay Leaves
3 dry red chillies
2 onions finely (sliced)
2 tsp salt
1 whole baby chicken
Above spice paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
4 tbsp tomato puree
Pinch of cardamom powder
Pinch of cinnamon powder

For the Spice paste
For the curry


Firstly make the spice paste. Put all the paste ingredients into a mixer and blend to a smooth paste.

Spice paste
Blended smooth

Next in a karai add your oil and then the red chillies, bay leaves into the oil till little darker then add sliced onions and cook till crispy and caramel.

Fry the bay and chillies
Add onions
Fry till golden

Now add the spice paste, turmeric, salt and cook till oil splits. Then add the tomato puree.

Add the spice paste
And the turmeric
Fry till oil separates
Repeat process
Add puree and splashes of water

This is the important phase. You really need to cook out the ingredients in the paste. Do this by adding splashes of water and letting the oil separate each time. This is the bhuna-ing phase and needs to be done till the spices start to lose the rawness. You will smell the difference when it gets to that stage, mellow and caremalised with a fragrant spiced aroma as opposed to the raw onion paste. You should not have any raw undertones.

Cook the paste out well.
Do this till there is no raw paste smell

Now add the chicken and continue to bhuna both the chicken and spices covered on low heat till the chicken is 80% cooked. The chicken will release some juices but add splashes of water if needed. Do not let it catch or burn.,

Add your chicken
Now bhuna the chicken in the spices
Covered, low and slow

Now add a cup of water, cover and simmer till the chicken is cooked and you have a thick sauce.

Add a little water
Cook till oil separates
Chicken is cooked
You have a clingy thick sauce
Ready to serve

Garnish with pinch of cinnamon and cardamom powder, stir and serve with rice or roti.

I served it with rice
Delicious 😋

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Rohan says:

    Hi, how hot is the rustic Chicken? Is there a way to make it little bit milder but still have the same result.
    Regards Rohan

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