Make some curry, it’s delish
Published 11:55 pm Friday, February 17, 2017
Every winter for years I did this chicken dish for my best friends in Wilmington. After moving away, I have gotten out of the habit but decided I would try and have a dinner party and serve this chicken curry for old time’s sake. It is my favorite recipe and probably 35 years old, but it is not curried chicken, but chicken curry since there is no use of curry powder but about 12 different spices. I bought the book in Charlottesville, Va., when I lived there back in the 70s. It was at a store called International Foods; the book was priced in pounds, but the owner did not know the difference and sold it to me for $1.50, so I got a bargain and have used it so many years later.
My advice on this chicken curry is to buy a good chicken (like from Whole Foods) it makes for a juicier chicken and more flavorful. I serve it with naan (you can make your own or buy some at the store) and about 10 condiments such as: boiled eggs (smashed), green peppers, tomatoes, onions, nuts, coconut, apples, raisins, chutney, and whatever else strikes your fancy. I also serve it with a carrot salad which is just some oil and mustard seeds with salt and lemon juice (a recipe I got from Israel Merchant).
This was a wonderful meal by the fire on a cold winter night!
From Step by Step Guide to Indian Cooking by Khalid Aziz, published in 1974.
Don’t be put off by the number of ingredients. It comes together easily.
1 4-lb. chicken
1 cup ghee (could use oil or butter but ghee can be found easily these days; you can even make your own)
1 ½ lb. onions
1 cup chopped fresh ginger
1 head garlic, about 7-8 cloves
2 ½ cups water
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons garam masala (in spice section)
3 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons cumin powder
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 bay leaves
5 sticks cinnamon
1 ¼ cups yogurt
Cut your chicken up into 8 pieces.
Take a heavy, 4-pint saucepan and melt the ghee, adding half the sliced onions.
While they are frying on a gentle heat, liquidize the ginger, garlic and the rest of the onions with the water. When the onions are golden brown, add the liquidized mixture and stir on a low heat for 10 minutes.
Now add the turmeric, garam masala, salt, cumin powder, pepper, chili powder, cardamoms, cloves, bay leaves, and cinnamon and stir for a further 10 minutes.
Then add the chicken pieces and the yogurt. Cover the pan and cook on a low heat for 2 hours. You will have beautifully cooked chicken in which the spice has permeated the meat to the bone, and the flesh will fall away at a touch when properly done.
I always take the chicken off the bone and take out the spices (stick cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom). Biting into a cardamom seed can be a taste surprise to the unwary. Serve with rice.