A hot steaming flavorful curry with delicate pieces of chicken just falling off the bone is the definition of comfort food in our household. I make this simple yet so healthy and delicious curry once a week and the entire family, including my 6 year old and 9 year old just devour it.
The key to the success of this dish is to let it cook on a low flame for a couple of hours. Which is why I love using my dutch oven for this dish. Everything is cooked in one pot and I usually have it all ready during the day while the kids are in school, and simply heat it up again at night for dinner.
The recipe is a very traditional and basic method of cooking Indian style Chicken Curry. I don't usually add any extra heat such as green chillis or red chillis to the dish, but feel free to do so. If you don't have a Dutch Oven, you can use any large pot to cook the dish. I also like using chicken with bone because it makes the dish so much more flavorful and there is nothing better than eating chicken falling off the bone. :-)
Feel free to eat the chicken curry as is, or serve with rice, quinoa, millet or other grains, and any vegetables work well. I usually serve with Steamed quinoa or rice and roasted vegetables for a complete and balanced meal.
Serves - 4
Time - Prep (15 minutes), Cooking (2.5 hours), Total - 2 hours 45 minutes
3-4 tablespoons healthy Oil
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 Cinnamon Sticks
2 Bay Leaves
2 Green Chillis, minced (optional)
2 large Red Onions, diced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon finely minced or crushed garlic
1 tablespoon Ground Coriander
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
2 large Tomatoes (I love using Heirloom tomatoes), diced
8 Chicken legs and or Thighs with bone
Salt to taste
1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven for about a minute on medium high. Add in the cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and green chilis and let it cook until it starts spluttering.
2. Mix in the onions and let them cook for about 15 minutes on medium. This step is important because getting the onions to a nice brown color brings out a lovely flavor in the dish. Stir the onions frequently to avoid getting parts of them burned.
3. Once the onions have reached a reddish brown color and you can literally smell the deliciousness, add in the ginger and garlic and give it a quick stir for about 30 to 40 seconds.
4. Then mix in the coriander, garam masala and turmeric for another 30 seconds.
5. Add in the tomatoes and salt and stir well. Add about a 1/4 cup of water at this point as well to scrape out all the spices that may have stuck to the bottom of the pot. Let the tomatoes cook down until very soft . This should take about 8-10 minutes on a medium flame. Taste the sauce for salt and add additional if necessary.
6. Now the sauce is ready. Add in the chicken pieces and coat them well with the sauce. And then add in another 1 1/2 cups of water and mix it well. Bring the entire mix to a boil. Then reduce the flame to the lowest setting. Cover and let it cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Check on it every 30 minutes or so, and to give it a quick stir.
7. You can garnish with chopped cilantro or fenugreek leaves if you like and serve hot with grains and vegetables.