Saturday, March 14, 2015

Indian Chicken Curry - Murgh Kari

Indian food is one of my favorite regional cuisines.  The spices are so aromatic and delectable.  As I have started to make Indian food, I've been surprised at how quickly and easily I can make savory and flavorful Indian dishes.

I'm still unfamiliar with the spices.  I use much turmeric, coriander, and garam masala.  Indian spices, like cardamon and ginger, found there way to Europe before Christianity.  The spice trade was a major driver in the world economy starting in the Middle Ages.

This recipe has cumin, turmeric, coriander, ginger, and garam masala.  I have talked about garam masala in the past.  It's a blend of several spices, including cinnamon, clove, and cardamom.  

Cumin are dried, oblong seeds from a plant in the parsley family.  The seeds are a yellowish brown with ridges.  Cumin has been used in India since the second millennium BC.  

Turmeric is the rhizome, an underground stem, of a plant in the ginger family.  When not used fresh, the rhizome is boiled for around half an hour, dried, and then ground into a dark orange and yellow powder.

Coriander and cilantro come from the same plant.  The leaves of the plant are called cilantro.  The fruit or seeds are dried and are sold as coriander.  The seeds have a slight citrus flavor.  Coriander is used through out the globe, but originated in Southwestern Asia and Northern Africa.

This curry recipe came from  I'm not sure if it is authentic.  I used less oil then directed.  The recipe called for half a cup, which is totally unnecessary.  

The ingredients are 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken, 2 teaspoons salt, 3-4 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1  teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon water, 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes, 1 cup plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.  What a list!

I salted the chicken while heating the oil in a skillet over high heat.  I browned the chicken in two or three batches because I didn't want to crowed the pan.  I put the browned chicken aside while I prepared the other components.

I put a little oil in the pan and added onion, garlic, and ginger.  I cooked these aromatics over medium-high heat until the onion was translucent.  This took around eight minutes.

Once the onions were translucent, I added the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, and 1 tablespoon of water.  I let this cook for a minute.

I added the tomatoes, yogurt, a tablespoon of chopped cilantro, and salt.

I returned the partially cooked chicken to the pan with all the juices.  I added a half a cup of water and brought the curry to a boil.

I added the garam masala and another tablespoon of fresh cilantro.

I covered the skillet and let it cook for 15 minutes.  I added lemon juice before serving.

This dish was enticing and delectable.  The spices were warm and earthy.  There was a little bit of heat.

I could eat serving after serving of this gratifying curry.

The spices and ingredients are scrumptious individually, but they combine into an exquisite dish.  

 I'll make this again!

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