Chicken Mughlai Curry with side dishes
For a medium-spiced curry for 4 generous servings:
* 2 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil.
* 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of visible fat & cut into quarters.
* 1 medium and 1 large onion (thinly slice half the large onion and save for the onion salad, chop the remaining half, along with the medium onion for the curry).
* 1 jalapeno, minced.
* 1 28oz can of chopped tomatoes with juice.
* 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk (light or regular)
* 2 tblspns plain thick yogurt.
* 2 cloves of garlic, minced.
* 2 good tspns of minced ginger.
* 1 tspn ground coriander seed
* 1 tspn Garam Masala (in spice section of your local supermarket)
* 1 tblspn Hot Madras Curry powder (decrease or increase this ingredient only, depending on how hot you want your curry - 1 tblspn will make a medium curry).
* 1/2 tspn lightly crushed fennel seed
* 4 cardamom pods, or 1/2 tspn of ground cardamom.
* 1 tspn sugar.
* 2 tblspns chopped fresh cilantro leaves
* Salt and Pepper.
For the Onion Salad:
*1/2 large onion (saved from curry ingredients), finely sliced.
* 2 tblspns MALT vinegar.
* 1 tspn paprika.
Make the sauce first:
Gently fry the onions, garlic & jalapeno in some oil or ghee until softened. I use a large saucepan or dutch oven for this. Add all the rest of the curry ingredients EXCEPT the cilantro leaves, yogurt and chicken. Simmer gently, uncovered, for around 20 minutes until slightly thickened.
In a separate casserole or dutch oven, sear the chicken until browned. Add the curry sauce, scraping up the brown bits (fond) at the bottom of the pan. Cover and simmer very gently for at least 40 minutes, up to an hour. Just before serving, stir in the yogurt and cilantro leaves. Leftovers freeze well - just add the yogurt and cilantro to the portion you will eat now, and freeze the rest without the yogurt or cilantro in. Serve over steamed or boiled Basmati Rice, topped with onion salad and mango chutney, with poppadoms (or Naan bread, or Chapati) on the side. Cold beer goes well with curries, wine doesn't really go well.
Make this when you start the curry - it has to sit for a while for the flavours to infuse. Place the thinly sliced onion in a small bowl (about a 4oz dessert bowl is about the right size). Pour over the Malt Vinegar and sprinkle the paprika over the top. Spoon the onion salad on top of the curry when serving.
Please buy this from your local Indian deli if possible - the true Indian Basmati rice is far superior to the stuff you get in the supermarket, and is far cheaper because you can buy it in small sacks. I use Basmati Rice for just about everything, except for risotto or for when I want sticky rice. Rinse, then cook in plenty of boiling water for around 12 to 15 minutes until just done, drain and serve. You will get perfect fluffy, separate grains if Basmati is cooked this way.
'Major Grey' is my favourite mango chutney, and can be found in most supermarkets, usually near the pickles & relishes. Spoon about a tablespoon over the top of your curry before serving.
Poppadoms and Naan Bread can be found at your local Indian deli. Poppadoms should be fried (individually) for a few seconds in very hot oil until they puff up and become crispy, then drained well (prop them up on their sides to drain). Naan Bread is a thick unleavened soft bread, which may be stuffed or include spices. Chapati's are a very thin unleavened bread (similar to a flour tortilla), which are briefly heated on a griddle to warm them through and brown a bit before serving - not too much, or they will harden! In India, Naan and Chapati are used to scoop up the curry to eat it. Poppadoms are often served as an appetiser, dipped in mango or other chutneys & sauces, but go equally well as a side.
Best wishes, Paint.
British ex-pat living in Colorado, USA