I’ve always been a fan of ground masala with coconut and whole spices to make the base of curries. But every once in a while I turn to powdered spices. This chicken curry is probably a common one in most households. I think so because its base is an onion-tomato one as opposed to coconut. I remember mum making these on Sundays when she picked the easy option. But personally I find the coconut based masala a lot easier because I don’t have to saute anything for a long time before adding the chicken and cooking it further. Although, this one is easy because only powdered spices are used and it’s a good start if you’re not very confident with cooking yet.
Enough for 4 people
Chicken on the bone – 600 – 700 gm cut into pieces
Onions – 4 finely chopped
Tomatoes – 5 finely chopped
Tomato puree – 1/4 cup
Garlic – 5 cloves chopped
Ginger – 1.5 inch piece finely chopped
Green chillies – 2 finely chopped
Cinnamon, cardamom, cloves – 1 tbsp full
Garam masala – 1 tbsp
Chilli powder – 2 tsp (adjust according to taste)
Cumin/jeera powder – 2 tsp
Coriander/dhania powder – 1.5 tsp
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Sugar – a pinch (just to balance the spices and salt)
Coriander leaves – Handful chopped
Oil/ghee/butter – 2 tbsp (or more if you want it richer)
In a pressure cooker heat oil/butter/ghee and saute cinnamon, cloves and cardamom till fragrant.
Tip the onions in and cook till they are translucent.
Now add the tomatoes, tomato puree and the powdered spices (turmeric, garam masala, cumin and coriander).
Add the chicken and salt. Stir.
Add half a cup of water.
Close the cooker with its lid and cook on high heat till the first whistle is out. Then cook it for 15 mins on low heat. Keep the lid and the whistle on.
Take it off the heat and let the pressure drop on its own.
Once you take the lid off, sprinkle coriander leaves. You could also add a dollop of fresh cream if you’d like.
I used a pressure cooker here because the chicken pieces were quite big and it was past our lunch time. But the chicken turned out perfectly soft and slid off the bone. I’m not a cooking snob when it comes to pressure cooking 😉
You can also marinate the chicken in turmeric, garam masala, chilli powder and yoghurt for a couple of hours or overnight.