Saturday, 10 April 2010

The Glory Of Chicken Curry

Here is a recipe for Chicken Rogan Josh you may like to try. I have added my own refinements to the basic dish and the product is lip-smackingly good, though I say so myself. If you don't like chicken you can substitute lamb fillet and I dare say it would work with beef or pork as well though I haven't tried these so they're on your own head.

Ingredients - should serve four easily, may stretch to six.

About 900 grams chicken breast/pieces.
1 decent-sized onion, finely chopped.
250 ml natural yoghurt - plain.
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt.
4 garlic cloves (crushed).
1" piece of fresh ginger. (Use a bit more if you like.)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Half teaspoon cumin seeds. (You can use a bit more if you want.)
3 bay leaves.
4 green cardamom pods.
2 teaspoons ground coriander.
2 teaspoons ground cumin.
1 or 2 teaspoons of ground turmeric. (This is mainly to improve the colour.)
1 teaspoon fenugreek. (Reduce or omit if you dislike fenugreek.)
1 teaspoon cinnamon.
1 teaspoon hot chilli powder OR 1 red chilli pepper sliced. (The latter makes it hotter.)
1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato puree
About two thirds a cup of water.
Plain boiled rice - or basmati if you prefer
Optional extras - small tin of baked beans or chickpeas; sliced mushrooms; 1 sliced pepper.


1. The night before - mix the yoghurt, salt, two garlic cloves, and the ginger which you should grate. Stir in the chicken - or other meat. Leave in fridge until ready for preparation.

2. Slice your onion and add the remaining garlic. Extract the contents of the cardamon pods, set aside and discard husks.

3. Heat the oil in a large pan until hot enough for frying then add cumin seeds. When they start to splutter add the bay leaves and the contents of the cardamom pods and fry for 2 minutes.

4. Add the onion and garlic and fry for about 4-5 minutes. Then add turmeric, fenugreek, coriander, cumin, chilli powder (or sliced chilli - preferred by me) and cinnamon. It may look pretty horrible at this point but it should smell OK. Fry for about 2 minutes.

5. Add the marinated chicken to the mixture and give it a good stir. Keep on stirring for about five minutes.

6. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and water. Also add small tin of baked beans or chickpeas; sliced mushrooms; 1 sliced pepper if you are including these extras.

7. Cover and simmer for one and a half hours. Note - do not go away and do something else. The curry needs an eye kept on it and regular stirring to prevent it from sticking and burning. If it gets too dry, add a cup or so of water.

8. Serve with rice, naans, and whatever other adjuncts you fancy.


Acknowledgement - modified from an original recipe in Curries of the World by Mridula Baljekar, an excellent book which I recommend.

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