Comfort Food: North Indian Chicken Curry

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We were funny kids. About 5 or 6 days out of the week, we used to be fed north Indian food – some type of dhal and rice, or maybe a chickpea or vegetable curry. And we complained ALL the time about it. (Now of course, we can’t get enough of Indian food!) We used to beg our mother for “English” food which seemed terribly exotic growing up in an Indian family in London: baked beans, spaghetti hoops, cheese on toast, pizza, shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, potato waffles. But we did have a special place in our hearts for the chicken curry that we used to eat about once a week. Home-cooked north Indian curry is much simpler than the sort that you get in Indian restaurants; it involves a short marination and few spices. Yes, our version is slightly greasier but feel free to skim the oil off or reduce the oil in the beginning. We find it goes perfectly with naan or another kind of Indian flatbread.

We’re so pleased we are able to share with you the chicken curry that we grew up with!

Serves 3 hungry people, 6 people with accompaniments

6 chicken thighs, with bone
2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp oil for frying
1 medium onion, diced
1 2-inch piece of ginger, diced
chef’s pinch of coriander seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
1/4 tin of chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp chilli powder

  1. In a bowl, mix the chicken thighs with the yoghurt and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan.
  3. Add the onion and cook until shrunken and golden.
  4. Halfway through cooking the onion, add the ginger.
  5. Add the coriander seeds and cook for about 30 seconds.
  6. Add the turmeric, garam masala, salt, tomatoes and chilli powder.
  7. Cook the masala until the oil separates from the sauce.
  8. Add the chicken-yoghurt mixture from the fridge and cook for 30 minutes on low heat, with the pan covered with the pan lid until the chicken is completely cooked. If you feel the mixture is on the dry side, stir in about 1 cup of water and heat on high until the sauce boils before carrying out this step.
  9. Serve either immediately with Indian bread or with rice. You can also store it in the fridge for a couple of days.

So what do you think? Feel free to share your questions and comments below! We’d love to hear what you have to say.

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