Indian Food Made Easy Part I: Classic Northern Chicken Curry

J received another cook book to review.  This time instead of French food, it is Anjum Anand’s Indian Food Made Easy. I must admit that we are not very well qualified to review an Indian food cookbook as we both do not have much experience cooking Indian food.  But we both like to eat Americanized Indian food so we were up for the challenge.

We selected three recipes to cook last week:  Chicken Curry, spinach rice pilaf, and spiced chickpeas.  Luckily for us we already had all of the spices on hand.  All I had to pick up was chickpeas, spinach, and chicken.  Yay for cheap shopping week.

First, the chicken curry.  I can’t say anthing about whether it was ‘classic”.  I will say that the recipe was super easy to make.  I didn’t think it was amazing, but I’ll make it again.  It was relatively flavorful, though I would have liked it to be a bit spicier and will add chilis next time.  It tasted just as good reheated for lunch the next day so I’d say it keeps well.

“Classic Northern Chicken Curry”

Serves 6-8

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 7 cloves
  • 3 sticks of cinnamon
  • 7 green cardamon pods
  • 2 small onions, peeled and minced
  • 3 taablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 9 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 2 scant tablespoons ground coriander
  • 4 medium cooking tomatoes, pureed
  • 2 lb chicken, skinned and joined (I used boneless-skinless because I don’t like eating around bones)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • handful of fresh cilantro leaves

“Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan.  Add the whole spices and fry for about 20 seconds until aromatic.”

“Add the onion and cook over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes until a rich golden brown, stirring often.”

“Sir in the ginger and garlic, and cook for another 40 seconds, then add the salt and powdered spices; stir for another 10 seconds.  Pour in the tomatoes and cook over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes until the liquid in the pan has dried off and the oil leaves the sides of the dry masala.”

“Add the chicken and brown over moderate to high heat for 3-4 minutes.  Add enough water to almost cover the chicken, bring to a boil, and then cook over a slow to moderate heat until the chicken is cooked through.  This takes about 15-30 minutes for small joins and up to 25-30 minutes for larger ones.  Stir in the garam masala and cilantro leaves just before serving.”

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