16 January, 2019
Before we moved west and parted ways with so many people back in my hometown and our college community, my best friend and I used to go out for Indian food. When we couldn’t go out or were too lazy to get out of our lounge clothes, we’d hop to one of our apartments and take over the kitchen to make some for ourselves. I’ve featured some of Gauri’s recipes on here before, such as her baingan bharta, puran poli, and rawa dosa. This recipe came at the suggestion of her husband, Shreyas, who is a fan of chicken (Gauri is mostly vegetarian). It’s an adaptation from a YouTube video by Harpal Singh Sokhi, which I strongly recommend watching because it’s the sweetest thing ever. If you think I get all sentimental about what cooking means in my family, it’s nothing compared to this guy. It’s great. Go watch his video.
Anyway, this recipe makes a LOT of curry. It’s not super spicy, but it is very flavorful and is perfect over rice (I recommend jasmine, basmati, for jasmati, which is a hybrid of the two). If you’re not terribly familiar with curries, it’s a sweet, spiced dish that smells incredible. One of the best things about this one is that you can make it in a single pot, so cleanup is a cinch. Don’t let the long ingredient list deter you (it’s 80% spices to make your own garam masala), it’s work the work!
3 tbsp Olive oil
2 medium Yellow onions
2 medium Tomatoes
2 pounds Chicken breast, sliced into chunks
1 tbsp Ginger paste
1 tbsp Garlic paste (or minced)
1 1/2 tbsp Coriander seed, ground
1/2 heaping tbsp Cumin
1 1/2 tsp Cardamom
1 tbsp Black pepper
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Cayenne (or chili powder)
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp Salt
2 Bay leaves
3 Thai chilies, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Water
Cilantro, to garnish
3 cups Jasmine rice
Place a medium or large saucepan over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Peel the onions and cut them in half from top to bottom before slicing them horizontally to make thin half-rings. Stop to cry as needed. Toss the onions into the pan and stir them occasionally until they become soft and translucent. Add in the ginger paste and the garlic once the onions have begun to soften. While the onions are cooking, cut the tomatoes into roughly 1/2-inch to 1-inch chunks. When the onions are cooked, add in the tomatoes, cover the pot, and cook them for five minutes or until they start to get tender. While the tomatoes are cooking, measure out and combine all of your dry spices in a bowl. Once the five minutes are up, sprinkle in the spices and add the chilies. Stir everything before adding in the chicken. Cover the pot again and let it cook for 5 minutes before adding in the water. During this five-minute period, hop on down to the next paragraph for instructions on cooking the rice. Cover the pot once more and let everything cook for 10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, measure out 3 3/4 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, measure out 3 cups of rice. Once the water is boiling, add in the rice and reduce the heat to medium and let everything simmer. Cook the rice for 12 minutes. You’ll need to keep an eye on this pot. Until the water level goes down, it’ll have a tendency to boil over. If it starts to do this, lift the lid up and blow on the bubbles. Otherwise, leave it undisturbed until it’s ready to plate. Once it’s done, fluff the rice before serving.
Serve your curry in a shallow bowl. Place a bed of rice into the bowl first and then scoop the curry over the top of it. The rice will soak up the liquid. Top with freshly-cut cilantro and enjoy while hot!