Monday 5 December 2011

Recipe - Murgh Kari-esque Chicken Curry

When I first moved to England I had not encountered Indian food at all before. I guess Sweden, at least not where I come from, wasn't all that culinary adventorous and we didn't have that many 'foreign' restaurants. Growing up I think there was two Chinese restaurants and one Pizzeria in my hometown.

Not knowing anything about Indian food made me feel a bit uncertain when we went for meals with work and so on. Quite often I'd rather not go than sit there not knowing what to go for due to my lack of knowledge.

Thankfully that all quickly changed through the years and I'm more than happy to join you for a curry if you invite me. Besides, these days I got a foolproof way of ordering just the right thing in Indian restaurants. I just say "please bring me the spiciest dish you have" to the waiter. That way I always get what I want.

Still, even though I like Indian food quite a bit it is still rare that I try my hand at emulating any of the dishes at home. That is something I should change in order to broaden my kitchen repertoire, so here you go. This is my attempt of creating a Murgh Kari-esque chicken curry.

Play a bit with the seasoning to fit your own likings, remove some of the cayenne and use a milder curry if you are of a wussy disposition. Add some fresh chilies if you are of that disposition. As always, just freestyle it.

Oh, and as you can see from the photo - I didn't get around to adding the coriander this time. Do as I say, not as I do. It will lift the dish even more, trust me.

Ingredients (serves 4)

A couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil
4 skinless chicken breasts, diced (or equal amount thighs)
2 - 3 onions, diced
2 - 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (or to taste)
4 -5 cm knob of fresh root ginger, finely chopped (or to taste)
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon water
2 tbsp tablespoon chopped fresh coriander, divided
400g passata
200g Greek yogurt
100ml water
1 - 2 tbsp of brown sugar (optional)
Heat the oil in a frying pan with lid on a medium heat.

Add in the chicken pieces and some salt and let them seal without starting to brown. Remove the chicken pieces onto a plate with a slotted spoon.

Lower the the heat a tad bit and add in the onions. Let them fry for about 8 - 10 minutes, stirring every now and then, and try not to let them start to brown too much.

Add in the spices, 1 tbsp of coriander and a tablespoon of water. Stir well to combine with the onions and oil. Increase the heat a bit again and let this cook together. Make sure to stir well and often.

After 3 - 5 minutes, once the spices have been toasted a bit, add in the yogurt, passata and 100ml of water. Stir well and let it come to a simmer. Simmer for a couple of minutes and then add in the chicken pieces - complete with any juices from the plate. At this stage - taste it and if you feel that is too tart due to the tomatoes - add some brown sugar to taste.

Pop the lid on the pan and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so - make sure that the chicken is cooked through.

Before serving it, stir in the other tablespoon of coriander and adjust the seasoning to taste if needed.


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// Mike