Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Chicken Curry from the past

Recipes keep getting better and fool proof over time. Chicken curry is one where I let my experimentation run while I perfect it. Though the recipe depends a bit on my mood, the weather outside also plays a very important role. The recipe from here has evolved to an almost fool proof one if I can say so myself. Mint leaves are fresh and abundant in the yard but that does not become a sole reason for them being added to the chicken curry. The kick they impart to a chicken biryani is not how they usually work in a chicken curry and they cannot take the place of coriander leaves obviously.

I was looking a perfect opportunity to jot down all these and Desi soccer mom comes up with the repost event to record them for posterity.

The coconut-poppy seed paste is an optional one but I have realized that is the addition that brings out the oohs and aahs. This quick and easy works best when using a pressure cooker. The addition of potatoes is purely optional. DH who was very skeptical when I mentioned adding potatoes now actually prefers chicken curry with them.

The howling winds and below freezing temperatures ensured that the peppercorns added were a bit more

Chicken Curry
1. 1 lb chicken thighs cut into fairly big pieces along with drumsticks
2. 2 white potatoes peeled and cubed into fairly big size chunks (optional)
3. 1 1/2 cup red onion chopped
4. 5 green chillies slit
5. 2 tomatoes chopped - 1/2 cup
6. 6 garlic cloves chopped
7. 1 tbsp ginger grated
8. 2 tsp red chili powder
9. 2-4 tsp turmeric powder
10. 1 tbsp coriander seeds + 1 tsp cumin seeds + 2 tsp pepper powder (adjust to heat) toasted slightly and powdered
11. whole spices - 4 cloves, 2 pieces cinnamon sticks, star anise, bay leaves, curry leaves, fennel seeds and cumin seeds
12. a handful of chopped coriander leaves
13. 2 tsp oil and salt to taste

Paste (optional)
1. 1/2 tbsp grated fresh coconut
2. 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds (soak for at least an hour)
3. a pinch of salt (makes it easy to blend the poppy seeds

1. Add chili powder, turmeric powder and salt to the chicken pieces and let them marinate till they are ready to be cooked. If using drumsticks makes a few slits on it.
2. In a pressure cooker heat oil and add the whole spices and let them brown a bit.
3. Add the onions, green chilies and saute till the onions turns translucent, add the garlic and ginger and saute for a minute or two.
4. Now add the potatoes and chicken and saute them for 5-6 minutes
5. Add the tomatoes, more chili powder if required, the powdered coriander mixture and mix well. Add salt.
6. Add a 1 1/2 cups of water, close the lid and cook for 2 whistles.
7. When cool add the blended paste if doing so and let it boil for a few minutes till the desired consistency s reached.

Serve with rice or bread of any kind.


  1. Hi ...
    Nice recipe and click

  2. Indu that curry looks delicious and I love a one pot meal anytime. Thank you for the lovely entry. I have one question: at what point does one add the mint leaves? I am imagining the minty zing even as I write this. :)

  3. I missed your last post so will start from there. I recently have started eating Ragi and this recipe is the best to start with.
    I really dont have a recipe which is foolproof. i always wants to experiment cant stick to measurement and methods. Hubby sometimes reminds me to jot down recipes which he finds exceptionally good. will try this recipe for him sometime. it looks very comforting.

  4. Gasagase/Poppy seeds are classic addition to any Mysorean dish as I said before. Adding Potatoes is new,I am sure it tastes great with spicy gravy and balances the heat as well.
    We drove to UNC y'day with 8" snow and in freezing cold like crazies! Car spun 360degrees and almost hit the back of the truck but saved. All of us are intact by avoiding an accident by inches and driving experience from Minnesota Winters for 3 1/2yrs saved us! ;P
    We are okay but a lesson learned that DO NOT drive when they say "DON'T". She needed some school stuff, so we did, never again.
    Have a great Sunday, we are staying put, may be go to the bookstore nearby.

  5. Earlier this week, I tried a recipe with coconut, lamb and beans, v heavy, but I liked it. I didn't need to eat dinner, that's how full I felt later. Yours looks nice, I like the idea of pepper in this gravy.

  6. I have`nt been using poppy seeds in non veg recently. Amma always added them for taste and thickening. Recipe sounds very delicious and spicy.

  7. I have never used poppy till now.... But this prep sincerely looks so lovable.....


  8. Oh wow, this chicken curry sure looks so delicious and tempting! Very nice photo too, Indo. Yes, I have seen that in my cooking too, with temperature outside spice proportions seem to change inside :) does the mint tree still flourishes in the peek of this winter season also? You know, may be I should start with growing mint in my balcony this spring.. it seems like a non-fussy herb so it might just manage to stay alive under my 'care' :D

  9. Jaya, for this newly minted curry I do not add mint leaves. If you do add them add finely chopped leaves just before the chicken and saute till the leaves are completely wilted.

  10. Sayantani, there is no way you can go wrong with ragi, give it a try and let me know.

    Asha, thank god you are ok. It is indeed dangerous and the problem is a lot of drivers don't know how to drive in the snow. Potatoes with chicken is really tasty, you got to try it.

    Sra, yes lamb and beans double protein dose. Oh the pepper gives a special zing when the outside weather is at its worst.

    Ash, thank you.

    PJ, no, Mint can deal with temps for 45F even but not below that. But they are very sturdy and come back every year. If you let them in the yard they take over, but in our parts where deer eat almost everything, mint is the only green because the deer don't like. If you have a sunny patio, mint will grow even without TLC.

  11. R will loves this curry for sure. I like the combo of the paste, might add curry leaves too..

  12. beautiful beautiful click..

  13. I love that event...Wanted to join but couldn't...This curry looks scrumptuous and with rice I will be sold! But not now really after stopped eating non-veg..I think with potatoes this poppy seed paste will makea wonderful similar curry Indo!

  14. I can never get fed up with a good chicken cutty and this looks so so delicous.

  15. I love curry I wanna try this recipe

  16. Thanks Indo, this is bookmarked

  17. Love the light color and the coconut and the poppy seeds. Will make this.


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