ANITA’S CHICKEN CURRY
Serves 12-14. Takes approx. 2 ½ hours, prep and cooking. But totally worth it! Make loads so you can refrigerate and batch freeze. This is a tried and tested recipe I’ve been making for years and sharing with friends all over the world. It’s delicious and my family and friends love it. I learnt to cook at aged 13, my mummyji would say to me “Unless you learn to cook, you’ll never find a husband!”
I do make the masala from scratch, but a good quality shop bought brand will suffice. I also wear a shower cap and house coat so my hair and clothes don’t smell of cooking.
- 8 medium/6 large onions finely chopped in food processor or by hand.
- 50ml rapeseed oil (you may need to add more) if you find the onions sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.
- Dry spices: 4 bay leaves, 4 whole black cardamoms, and 12 green cardamoms. Once the curry is cooked, I pick out the whole black cardamoms.
- 2 kg lean chicken thighs, need to be skinless and boneless. Each piece chopped into 5-6 pieces.
- 800g fresh ripe tomatoes (blitzed in food processor) or 2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes.
- 1 level teaspoons of salt (add more/less depending on your taste)
- 3 heaped teaspoons garam masala or masala
- 2 heaped teaspoons turmeric/haldi
- 1 heaped teaspoon red chilli flakes or chopped fresh green chillies – vary quantity to your taste.
- Approx. 60g peeled ginger
- 12 cloves garlic
- 2 large handfuls finely chopped coriander including stalks
With this recipe keep stirring from time to time to avoid the sauce sticking to the bottom of the pan. If it does, add a little more oil and turn down heat.
You’ll need to vary the heat throughout the cooking process.
I sometimes use a non-stick wok, Le Creuset or a deep stainless steel saucepan. You don’t want the ingredients sticking/burning on the bottom.
- On medium heat, heat oil and add dry whole spices. Let them splutter for 1 minute (until they change colour) and add onions. Coat them in the oil thoroughly. Pop the lid on and cook until golden brown (approx. 20-25 minutes), stirring from time to time on a low-medium heat.
- Meanwhile add peeled garlic and ginger (with a little water) to a food processor and blitz until a smooth paste.
- Add garlic/ginger paste to browned onions and on medium heat, cook and stir thoroughly for 5-7 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, spices, salt, and chillies. Cook on a high heat for 5 minutes stirring thoroughly. Then pop on lid and cook for a further 20 minutes. Stir from time to time. You’ll know when the sauce is cooked as the oil is released from the masala and it will go a dark brown colour.
- On a high heat, add chopped chicken thighs and coat/stir constantly in the sauce for 10-12 minutes.
- Reduce to low heat and simmer for 60 minutes with lid on and stir occasionally to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom.
- Optional: 20 minutes from the end of cooking time add other vegetables – blended spinach leaves, potato cubes, diced red peppers, grated carrots etc.
- Just before serving add chopped coriander and stir thoroughly.
- Serve with yoghurt (any type, we like Greek yoghurt), white/brown rice, naan and pickle.
– If you add blended spinach, don’t add fresh coriander
– Add one tin of coconut milk instead of one tin of tomatoes (so do half and half).
– You can keep the chicken curry (once cooled) in the fridge for up to 3 days. I freeze portions, as it’s a time consuming recipe and if you’re going to go to the effort of making it, cook loads!
– Substitute chicken for lamb, however, it will need an extra hour or two to cook.
Good luck and do let me know how you get on!