One of my staple Indian curries, Chicken Kadhai regularly features in almost all Indian meals I make; big or small.
The key ingredient in this curry is the kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) as it adds a distinct flavour that is both delicious and alluring. Although widely available from spice markets, kasoori methi isn’t a flavour many are accustomed to and makes a nice change from the typical curry flavours most people normally encounter.
A personal favourite, to my mind this curry tastes and smells of India herself; a heady blend of fragrant spices, the earthy tones of the kasoori methi – all marry into a potent assault on the senses. Just like India this curry will charm you, its flavours will linger and it will invariably leave you wanting more.
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Kadhai Murgh (Chicken Kadhai): Serves 4-6
700g boneless skinned chicken thighs, cut into 3cm cubes
2 tsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. crushed garlic
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 tbsp. ghee or vegetable oil
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 tsp. crushed chilli flakes
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp. salt
1-2 tbsp. dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
1 tsp. garam masala
2-4 green chillis
Fresh coriander to garnish
- Put the yogurt into a large bowl with the half the ginger and garlic (1 tsp. of each), mix together.
- Add the chicken and mix thoroughly.
- Leave to marinate overnight in the fridge or for at least 3 hours.
- Heat the ghee/oil in a saucepan.
- Add the onions and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Be careful not to let the onions burn.
- Add the crushed chilli flakes and the remaining garlic/ginger pastes. Stir-fry for a minute.
- Add the ground turmeric and coriander, stir-fry for another 30 seconds.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the oil separates from the spice paste. This stage of the cooking process is vital, so take your time.
- Increase the heat to high and add the marinated chicken. Stir-fry for 5 minutes and then add the warm water and salt.
- Add the fenugreek leaves and garam masala.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to a medium heat and simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, adding the whole green chillis a few minutes before the end of the cooking time.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.