There are easy chicken curry’s and then there is this, the even easier chicken curry!
What makes this so easy?
Well thats quite simple, you just leave it to cook. Really, no kidding. No cooking out spices, no stages, no fuss… it’s just really that easy. It is just a case of combining ingredients and letting it cook…the only graft is chopping onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and coriander. For me that’s preparation, not cooking.
What is so good about this method?
There is a depth of flavour to this method of cooking. A slight pungency that comes from the ingredients cooking at once and together. Curries have been cooked like this for decades, probably centuries. Often left on hot coals or embers as poeple go about their chores. The dish cooks in its own juices and develops a character and a really tantalising heavy aroma while cooking.
What about the spices?
My one ask would be to request the Rajah’s Mild Madras Curry Powder. There is a sweet, delicious aroma and flavour of this particular curry powder mix. It can’t be replaced, and it is all about the taste and flavour of childhood chicken curries. Back in the decades, this was the main brand, and it is still the main go-to for me for revisiting my childhood and delicious food!
I have used mustard oil as it really helps with flavour, but it is optional. I would ask you to try it with mix of mustard oil. It really does add a good deal of flavour. There are the curry leaves and peppercorns you can leave out. They do add a layer of flavour, but it works just fine without!
If you’re a little nervous and unsure of the processes for cooking curries, this eliminates that stress. It just needs for you to be patient and wait till al the fluid disappears. Do this, don’t leave any liquid, just the oil that separates. This is indicative of spices thoroughly cooked out. So just leave it, check occasionally and let it do its magic.
For novices, beginners, and students, I can assure you, if you serve this up, nobody will think for a moment it’s been prepared by a newbie. I know it’s a winner as hubs always makes noises when eating it with his customary head nods of approval and joy. Even I can’t help but make a few sounds of satisfaction!
If you have the traditional ingredients at hand you can rustle this up in 40 mins from prep to plate. The chicken thigh is quick to cook and retains its juicyness whilst being forgiving and tolerates the slow cooking process.
The hard graft is just chopping the fresh ingredients.
6 small boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into inch pieces
1 tsp Coriander powder
2 tbsp Cumin
1 tsp Turmeric
2 fresh tomatoes sliced
1 tbsp Rajah Mild Madras Curry powder
1 tsp Chilli powder
Handful fresh coriander chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
1 large onion finely sliced
Quarter cup veg oil
2 tbsps mustard oil
4 green chillies chopped
1 tsp salt
6 garlic cloves chopped
1 inch ginger grated
A few fresh curry leaves are optional
6 new potatoes halved optional
A scotch bonnet optional
Put all the ingredients in a karai except for chicken. A traditional steel/aluminium will work better in conducting heat and cooking out spices well during the entire process.
Gently bruise onions and mix all the ingredients together and thoroughly using your hands. Use gloves if you want.
Mix well and bruise everything other than potatoes as this will help with the cooking process.The salt will start the onions and tomatoes, releasing their juices.
Now, add the chicken. Mix in well again.
You can leave to marinade if you want but I don’t as it doesn’t really need it!
Put the heat on medium-high and cook covered for about 3 mins till spices just start to stick slightly. Do not burn, stir, and keep an eye on it.
Once it starts heating up and coming to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for about 10 mins. You will see the liquid released. Do not add any liquid. The intention is for it to cook in its own juices until potatoes and chicken are cooked. Check frequently, stir, and leave it to do its own thing.
Everything will cook in its own time, and sauce will reduce, and over aprox 20 mins, the oil will float, and sauce will intensify.
When the potatoes are cooked and oil is floating and there is no liquid below in the base of the pan, when you separate the curry, it’s done.
When it’s done, garnish with fresh coriander and enjoy!
I served it with plain white rice but it’s great with anything you want it with!
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