When we visited India this year, the unthinkable happened. The daughter tried and loved Paneer Butter Masala. This love later extended to Butter chicken, resulting in this dish which is infinitely healthier and is what we call our Sunday Yogurt Chicken Curry. I make this so often from instinct that I never really thought of blogging it. Recently I posted a picture on instagram and it caught Sharmila’s eye. She asked for the recipe and here it is.
Other than trying to make a healthier dish that the daughter would like, I really had not given much thought to the dish, but it essentially is a very simple fragrant creation, that gets most of its flavor from a few fragrant spices – cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves. It’s color from tomatoes and Kashmiri chili powder. I used to add coconut milk to this curry once upon a time, but now have realized that it really does not need that extra level of fat.
Every household needs one or two dishes that are guaranteed to please the kids, and come together quickly. This dish is one such in my household. It is best served with steamed white rice or any kind of chapati or other Indian bread. I have found the flavor improves considerable if you can marinate the chicken overnight. I have also done it without the marinating and it tastes fine. The addition of the kasuri methi, or dried fenugreek leaves makes a huge difference so do not skip it.
The robot season is drawing to an end. I shall miss the chaos. I shall also miss my weekend me time and the time I have had to create so many fun dishes. Maybe, I can use the time to write up some of these fun creations. At the end of the day, it is sometimes just about finding they moment and the inspiration.
A flavorful Sunday chicken curry, that is healthy and easy to to put together.
- 1 and 1/2 cups whole milk yogurt, separated
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons garam masala powder
- 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 2 inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
- 1 large tomato
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic
- 1 green chili
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 inch piece of cinnamon, broken
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- Chopped cilantro
- Mix 1/2 cup yogurt with the black pepper, 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt and the garam masala powder and marinate the chicken for 2 to 3 hours.
- Take the remaining yogurt, Kashmiri red chili powder, salt, tomato, ginger, garlic and green chili and blend until smooth and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet and place the chicken pieces in a single layer and sear for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
- Remove from the pan and the remaining oil in the same pan and add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes. Add in the cinnamon and bay leaves and saute for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add in the yogurt mixture and the chicken and mix well. When the mixture begins to simmer, cover the pan and cook on very low heat for 30 minutes. This does not need much attention, but do not rush the process.
- Remove the lid and add in the fenugreek leaves and the black pepper and mix well. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Serve garnished with the cilantro.
Most of the prep time is for marinating the chicken.