Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chicken Curry

Cooking Indian curry from scratch had been one of my greatest challenges for quite some time.  I started collecting spices and trying to cook authentic Indian curries since the mid 90's when I caught the bug for cooking. My interest in Indian cooking had waxed and waned over the years.  But my curry fever came back when I moved near an Indian community.  However, despite many attempts, my curries always fell short in flavor. I've read tons of recipe books and watched countless youtube instructional videos but couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong.  So I asked my Indian friend for help, and I'm glad I did. Since then, I have been trying to improve my recipe, and after trail and error, I finally created the ultimate chicken curry recipe.

The key, I think, is to cook spices first to bring up the aroma and to caramelize the onion. The latter takes 20-30 minutes, but it's worth it.  Be patient!!

Chicken Curry Print Recipe

1 onion -roughly diced
2 cloves of garlic
  1 inch ginger -peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cup water
1 Tbspoil
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chili power*
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 cup crushed tomato
1tsp tomato Paste
1 pound chicken breast cubed

salt to taste
2~3 Tbsp evaporated milk or heavy cream**


  1. Puree onion, garlic, ginger and 1/2 cup water in a blender.
  2. Heat oil in a pan (preferably non stick pan) and add a cinnamon stick and cook about 1 minute until it is fragrant. Remove cinnamon stick form the pan. Add the coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala and cumin powder to the pan. Cook until they are fragrant about 30 seconds.  
  3. Add the puree into the pan. Cook, staring often, for 20~30 minutes until the puree is caramelized and the oil starts to separate from the puree.
  4. Add crushed tomato, tomato paste, and 1 cup of water and season with salt. Add chicken and simmer 15 to 20 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.
  5. Mixed in evaporated milk as you like.
Serves  4~6

* Adjust the amount of chili powder according to your desired spiciness.
** If you like creamier/richer curry, use more evaporated milk or cream.