Just a little explanation of curry before we go any further. As I learned on a trip to India curry in it’s simplest form is an Indian gravy or sauce that is used with meat , tofu, or vegetables. It is usually served with rice and most popularly Basmati Rice and it contains many different kinds of spices. You can have a mild curry or a spicy curry. This recipe is a combination of different spices and actually doesn’t even use actual curry powder. So when people say they don’t like “curry” what exactly are they referring to? We loved this dish and since I am not in NY at the moment and can’t get good Indian cuisine I decided to make this recipe. Pretty easy if you have all ingredients in the house — mostly spices . Of course you control the “heat” of the curry — this was obtained with the cayenne pepper so use at your discretion. Very simple dish and I served with Basmati Rice .
This recipe as is will serve 4-6 — for the two of us I halved it — not an exact science so don’t worry about it. For instance I used 1 1/4 lb. chicken thighs. Yes I think chicken thighs yield the best flavor but if you absolutely don’t want to use them you can use breasts just cut them into smaller pieces.
Be a little adventurous and you might surprise yourself. Hope you enjoy as much as we did.
2 1/4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs , mine were rather small so I left whole but if they’re large cut into 2-3 inch pieces —
1 cup plain, full-fat yogurt — you can use Greek and you can use 2% as well
4 garlic cloves, minced or grated and divided
2″ piece of ginger, minced or grated and divided as well. If no fresh ginger which I recommend you can use powdered . Use app. 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, divided.
2 Teaspoons kosher salt, divided plus more for taste
3 Tablespoons neutral oil such as Canola or Vegetable
2 large onions, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 15 oz. can crushed or diced tomatoes
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 Tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne powder– this will give flavor and a bit of a kick so go with less if you like a mild curry
1/2 cup water
Combine chicken thighs with yogurt, half of the garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a bowl and set aside for however long you can ( up to 1 day) I did for about 5 hours and it was just fine. I refrigerated and took out while I was prepping ingredients.
In a large 4 qt. or larger heavy stock pot with a lid, heat oil. Once hot add onions and cumin seeds and cook for app. 5 minutes or more till onions break down and are translucent. Add remaining salt, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and cayenne and cook for a few minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until they break down and add the tomato paste, cook for another few mins. Now add the chicken in yogurt marinade, plus water , stir to combine , and bring to a simmer , stirring. If you need more water add a little at a time. Simmer for 25-30 minutes stirring every once in a while and checking for consistency of gravy.
Chicken should be done when it is cooked for about 1/2 hour, you can check by cutting a larger piece to see if it is cooked through. Adjust seasoning as needed and serve over rice.