The Perfect Chicken Curry

Chicken curry.jpgI’ve said this before: If you want to make a devilishly good curry, make your own curry paste. Nothing beats the aroma of freshly ground spices and believe me, it’s no fuss! Ok, I admit that opening a jar of store-bought curry paste is simpler, but if you want your guests to be wowed, home made paste is the way to go. In order to make this easier, I used already ground spices in the paste but if you want to go the extra mile, first dry roast whole spices and then grind them. Always taste your curry and adjust the heat according to your taste. I always remove the seeds from the chilies in order to have more control of the heat. I adjust it later with chilli powder.

For the curry paste:

  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 5 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 red chillies, deseeded
  • 6 tsp ground cumin
  • 6 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 tsp each turmeric
  • 3 tsp paprica
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 1 Tbs sunflower oil
  • 1 Tbs water

For the chicken curry:

  • 4 Tbs sunflower oil (or any other vegetable oil)
  • 50 grams butter
  • 4 large onions, roughly chopped
  • The above curry paste, divided
  • 4 chicken breasts, without bone or skin, cut into small pieces (about 3cm cubes or strips) and,
  • 8 chicken thighs, without bone or skin, cut into small pieces (about 3cm cubes or strips)
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ cup chicken broth (or one chicken stock cube dissolved in ½ cup of boiling water)
  • ½ tsp chili powder (or more, depending on how hot you like your curry)
  • 1 cup double cream
  • 1 cup greek yogurt plus 4 Tbs extra

chopped coriander leaves, to serve

Method:

Make the curry paste. Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade. Blend until a paste forms.

Divide the paste in two roughly equal parts. Put half in a bowl and set aside. Mix the other half with 4 tablespoons yogurt. Put the chicken pieces in a bowl. Add the yogurt/paste mixture and mix very well with a spatula or with your hands (wear plastic gloves). You need to distribute this very well, to coat all the chicken pieces. Cover the bowl and marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.

Put the oil and the butter in a large lidded pot, over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, until onions are soft. Add the remaining paste and cook for 5 minutes longer. Add the chicken with it’s marinade and cook, stirring often for 5-6 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, tomato paste, and chicken broth. Season with salt and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Stir occasionally to prevent curry sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the cream and yogurt. Stir and cook 5 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the heat by adding more chili powder.

Scatter some coriander leaves on top and serve with mango chutney, rice and papadums.

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