Tuesday, September 07, 2010

South Indian chicken curry

4-day work weeks should be made legal. I'm not particularly politically oriented but any candidate that lobbies this will have my vote, no questions asked. It makes plenty of sense, right? With computers doing a lot of our heavy lifting, we get more done any given day than ever before. Say good bye to Manic Mondays and by the time Wednesday rolls in, its not a hump anymore, the weeks almost 50% over! You can take decent weekend trips with plenty of time to come back, do laundry, make chicken curry and get ready for work first thing Tuesday morning. Perfectly logical...if only I can find a presidential candidate who agrees with me.

We just got back from an awesome trip to the Outer Banks. The south is such a different world, everybody is so nice, warm and laidback. We can't wait to go back again. But I have to admit, after 2 days of fried chicken, fried fish, hush puppies and sweet iced tea we were ready for some good ol' southern cooking-- south Indian cooking, that is.

There's no universal Indian chicken curry recipe, in fact, this is very similar to my mother-in-law's recipe which is completely different from my mom's. My mom's recipe has less gravy and no pepper. This curry is perfect for soaking rice in or for sopping up with chapatis. Although I've split the recipe into sections, it's not that complicated at all and is very quick. Oh and I forgot to mention the added bonus...clean up is a breeze! Sorry the picture looks like crap, my poor camera is still recovering from its shaken-by-toddler syndrome.

You will need:

For gravy:
1 large tomato (quartered or cut into large pieces)
1 large red onion (quartered or cut into large pieces)
2 inch piece of fresh ginger
5 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of dessicated coconut powder

Throw all ingredients into a blender and grind till smooth. Add 1/4 cup of water if needed to blend uniformly. In the mean time make the dry spice powder.

Dry spice powder:

2 tsp fennel powder
2 tsp black peppercorns
1 inch piece of cinnamon
5 cloves
4 cardamom pods

Grind all ingredients in a dry grinder till smooth. Save till its time to make the curry.

For the curry

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 handful curry leaves
2 tsp chili powder (or more to taste, I add about 2 tbsp)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1.5 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into medium cubes)
2 medium yukon gold (or similar) potatoes (cut into medium cubes)
Salt to taste
Green chilies, cilantro, curry leaves (Optional, for garnish)

Add vegetable oil to a pressure cooker on medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds. After they finish sputtering, add the curry leaves. Pour in the tomato-onion paste from the blender. Add the ground spice powder from the dry grinder. Next throw in the chili powder, salt and turmeric. Let this mixture cook for a few minutes uncovered till big lava bubbles form and burst. The chicken and potatoes should be added at this point. Cover the pressure cooker, reduce heat to medium and let curry cook for about 20 minutes or till 3 whistles from the cooker. Once done, take off the heat, wait till the pressure cooker cools off completely. Check and add more salt if needed. Garnish with more curry leaves, split green chilies or cilantro.

1 comment:

Kulsum@JourneyKitchen said...

Hey Veena, so glad u came to the blog by accident ;) whether one admits or not war times always has some kind of impact of one's life or personalities. Like for my mom, I think it has made her a much stronger woman than she would have been otherwise. As for me, listening to war times stories really gives u a sense of what life can be, and how thankful one should be for it is now. Oh and I have countless south Indian friends and love their chicken curry, and this one definitely looks delicious!