Friday, February 3, 2012

Anamika's Chicken Curry

When I was  living in Germany I had a friend from India who, like me, loved to cook. It's great when you meet somebody that you can talk about food with! Before leaving Germany I got to experience her cooking and I enjoyed it so much that I asked for a recipe. Of course, like me, she tends to just throw things together so the recipe was only an approximation, and I will have to make this again and probably again after that because I remember her curry as being delicious and mine was only OK, not to mention absolutely ridiculously spicy! So below you can find a recipe for chicken curry, which is only an approximation of what my friend cooked for me and is also not quite the same as what I made - hopefully it is better! You can of course adapt the recipe however you like and spices don't necessarily need to be measured, so much as sprinkled in until it tastes good. I find that I don't much like the taste of ginger, cloves and cardamom so I use less of these, while I generally use a lot of cumin because I like the somewhat smoky flavour that it imparts. I will be much more careful with the chilli the next time that I make a curry and if I improve upon the recipe then I will come straight back here to change this. For now, however, here is a quite a good recipe for a simple Indian curry.

Anamika's Chicken Curry

400 grams chicken, choped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon each ground ginger, cumin and turmeric
1/4 teaspoon each of ground cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and coriander
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed chilli
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion
2 tablespoons tomato puree/paste
125 gram plain yoghurt

The recipe that my friend gave me begins with marinating the chicken in the garlic and spices. Which is different to what I usually do, which is to heat the oil and fry the spices, then add the onion and chicken. So to marinate the meat, you want to chop it up into small pieces, place it in a bowl, sprinkle over the spices, chilli, garlic and bay leaves, then add about a tablespoon of oil. Give it a good mix, until all of the meat is coated and yellowish, then cover the bowl and leave it for an hour or so.

When you are ready to continue, dice the onion and heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan. Cook the onion until it is soft and transparent, then add the marinated chicken and as much of the marinade as you can scrape out of the bowl. Cook the chicken until it is done all the way through, and have a taste of the marinade to make sure that you are happy with it. You can add more of the spices at this point until it is just as you like it.

Finally, add the tomato puree and the yoghurt and continue to cook it until the sauce is thick and creamy. Remove the bay leaves if you can find them, because nobody wants to get a bite of one of those, and serve over rice. If your curry is as spicy as mine was, I would suggest having a glass of milk to go with it, because water will just spread the heat whereas milk will actually take it away. Unless, like me,  you don't like milk, in which case I guess you are going to be stuck with a burning mouth.

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