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Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 whole chicken, no skin, cut into medium sized pieces or 2-3 lbs of chicken breast
4 cloves of garlic
5 cherry tomatoes (halved)
Optional: A handful of fresh spinach or coriander/cilantro leaves
Spices: 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 heaped tsp cumin, 1 heaped tsp coriander, 1 level tsp of curry powder, and 1 tsp salt. (If you like it spicier, then add a touch more of each spice to taste….nothing is written in stone).
1. Wash and clean the chicken and if using breast pieces only, cut into large pieces about 2-3 inches long. If using the whole chicken, make sure it is cut into medium sized pieces. Remove all skin ( I usually have the butcher remove it beforehand).
2. Dice the onion and garlic finely and keep separate.
3. In a pan, heat up 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic and fry until almost brown taking care not to burn the garlic.
4. Add the diced onion and fry until brown.
5. Add all spices as above including the salt and fry for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of water to make a smooth paste. (If you have a blender, fry just one onion and blend the other. You will still need to add some water, but not as much).
6. Add the halved cherry tomatoes and allow to blend into the massala.
7. Once you have enough massala, add the chicken. Put the heat on high and allow to cook until the chicken browns all over (10-12 minutes if using a whole chicken, 6-8 minutes if using just chicken breast). Add water as necessary if you start to see the massala drying up.
8. Let cook for a further 5 minutes and then put the lid on and lower the heat. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
9. At this point, I would normally add a handful of freshly chopped coriander/cilantro leaves, but since I ran out, I improvised with a handful of fresh spinach leaves just to add some “greenery” to it. The result was great! (You can of course add freshly chopped coriander/cilantro instead if you prefer). Stir well and remove from heat.
Recommendations: Serve with hot rice of your choice or any bread of your choice such as roti, chapatti, or naan bread. For a healthier option, serve with wholewheat pita bread or wholewheat chapatti.
Recipe & image by Sabina Huq