Friday, March 25, 2011

Chicken curry with cardamom

This year I finally bit the bullet and brought back a whole suitcase of spices from Edinburgh to Cadiz: garam  masala, ground coriander, curry powder, chilli powder, black mustard seeds, cardamom, fenugreek ... Appropriately enough, they are kept in a medicine cabinet in our kitchen.

This recipe comes from a little Madhur Jaffrey book that I bought over Christmas and which has been part of my "one curry a week" drive. I made it with Sammy last Saturday morning, together with a vast quantity of rice, which turned out to be fortuitous as about 30 minutes later our friends James and Monica phoned and I felt happy to invite them round for lunch, knowing that I had a big pot of curry and rice on the go.

stage 1: marinade
1 whole chicken, skinned and jointed
1 onion
2-inch piece of ginger
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp black pepper

stage 2: curry
vegetable oil
1 onion
2 cinnamon sticks
16 cardamom pods
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
100g natural yoghurt
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
juice of 1 lemon
150ml water

  1. Marinade: Peel and roughly chop the onion, and chop finely in a food processor with the garlic, ginger, chilli powder and black pepper. In a large bowl, mix the chicken pieces and the onion and spice mixture, cover and leave for anything from 30 minutes to overnight.
  2. Curry: Peel and finely slice the second onion, fry gently in a large saucepan until they start to brown. Add the whole spices and cook for a further 30 seconds or so, reduce heat to minimum and add the yoghurt a spoonful at a time, stirring well to make sure it is incorporated.
  3. Now add the tomato, chicken pieces, marinade, salt and lemon juice and water. Turn heat up, bring to a simmer, cover and cook at minimum for an hour.

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