Chop N’ Drop Chicken Curry

Chop and Drop Chicken Curry

As promised, here is my Chop n’ Drop Chicken Curry recipe. I hope you made the Home-made Garam Masala that I posted last week, because this recipe calls for it. You will be surprised at how easy it is to make this tasty North Indian flavored dish.

Yesterday, I visited two of my friends. It was a fun day for me as I got to test this recipe in their homes. For me, it was a great learning experience, because I was cooking in a different environment with different equipment. For example, I have a gas stove in my kitchen and they had electric stoves in theirs. As a recipe developer, I realized that I described my recipes using the experience I had with a gas stove which might differ slightly with an electric stove.

The best lesson that I learned from cooking with friends was that sharing the cooking experience brought me much more joy than cooking by myself. I have those two friends to thank for this new enlightenment!

Chop n’ Drop Chicken Curry
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6-8

3 pounds chicken, (one large chicken, cut into pieces)
2 cups thinly sliced onion
2 tablespoons grated garlic, (one whole head or bulb)
3 teaspooons Kashmiri chilli powder, (depending on heat and your preference)
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons coriander powder
¼ cup water, (or less depending on how much water your chicken gives out)
2 cups diced ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons grated ginger, (or cut into short, thin strips – like matchsticks)
¼ cup ghee
3 teaspoons garam masala, (use Home-made Garam Masala)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 green chillies, slit down the middle, (optional)

Add chicken, onion, garlic, chili, turmeric, coriander, water and salt to a heavy bottomed, wide pan. Please note here that you could add anywhere from two tablespoons to a quarter cup of water, and this would depend on how much water the chicken gives out and whether you drained the chicken well after you washed it. Mix all the ingredients and place on high heat and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a rolling boil, add tomatoes and ginger, stir well, and cook on medium-high heat until the water evaporates and the chicken is cooked – about 10-15 minutes. Add ghee. Stir and fry until the oil separates and the chicken is roasted. Sprinkle garam masala, cilantro and green chillies. Mix everything, cover and cook for five minutes on low heat. Serve with chapatis, naan or rice.

Note: This chicken curry tastes best with the Home-made Garam Masala that you will find in last weeks blog post. You can use one large whole cut up chicken or a combination of pieces. Chicken in the U.S. cooks much faster than in India. So, I cooked it on high heat on a gas stove during the whole process. You may have to adjust the heat and time to make sure the chicken cooks well. I also used ghee for this recipe which added a distinct North Indian flavor and richness to the dish.


Home-made Garam Masala – Indian Spice Blend

Garam Masala4

This home-made garam masala is the secret ingredient to my Chop n’ Drop Chicken Curry recipe that will be posted next week. It is definitely a chicken curry recipe you will want to bookmark and save. It is also a great recipe for your children who may want to try their hand at cooking.

Garam masala in Hindi means “hot spice mixture.” However, it is not hot like chilli pepper, but rather a pungent, warm, blend of exotic spices. The spices are roasted and then ground to a fine powder. In India, the composition of garam masala differs from region and household. Families take pride in preserving their recipes for their own special blend of garam masala, which they hand down from generation to generation.

You can buy garam masala powder from an India grocery store. It is usually added to a dish as the finishing touch in the cooking process. Once you make your own garam masala and you taste the difference it makes to your dish, you will never go back to buying store-bought garam masala again!

Home-made Garam Masala – Indian Spice Blend
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Makes: Half a cup

2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
2 tablespoons whole black pepper
2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
2 teaspoons cloves
4-inch piece cinnamon, broken into bits
12 black cardamoms
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Dry roast coriander seeds, black pepper, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, and black cardamom in a small non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally to ensure even roasting. When the spices release their sweet aroma, it is time to turn off the heat and transfer the spices to another bowl. This process will take about 15-20 minutes. Cool the spices completely. Remove the outer covering of the black cardamoms and discard. Use only the seeds.

Grind all the roasted ingredients to a powder in a coffee grinder. You may want to do this in batches if your coffee grinder is small, like mine. I also sifted mine to make sure it was well ground. Once all the spices have been ground, add the grated nutmeg and mix well. Store in an airtight bottle in a cool, dry place. This recipe makes half a cup of garam masala.