Imperial Chicken Curry

Imperial Chicken Curry

Yields4 Servings

The Imperial Chicken Curry hails from India's capital, Delhi. As the name suggests it's fit for royalty! It's a curry that surprises on every level. Surprisingly light on ingredients, yet big on flavour. The glossy sauce is beautifully balanced and developed. It's rich and fragrant with a slight sour note from the yoghurt. Because it has so few ingredients, it is really easy to prepare too.

Like most Northern Indian curries the Imperial Chicken Curry is richer than those of the South - In the north, onions, when stewed and broken down, are used to great effect in giving curries a sweet richness to counteract the fragrance and heat of the spices so, creating a harmonious balance of flavour.

I'm guilty of "checking" my curries for taste and doneness from about 10 minutes in. In essence, this is simply a combination of greed and erm... greed. I'll often eat an entire portion if nobody's looking. If YOU haven't eaten every last drop before it's finished cooking then, like most curries, the Imperial Chicken Curry freezes very well, so portion it up and eat as sooner or later as you can bear!

Ingredients

1 kg chicken thigh fillets (cut into large pieces)
250 g Greek style yoghurt
8 garlic cloves
2 tsp cumin seeds
6 dried chillies (or 2 tsp chilli powder)
6 cardamom (bruised)
1 tsp poppy seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp salt
4 medium onions (sliced)
4 garlic cloves (chopped)
5 cm piece fresh ginger )chopped)
2 cinnamon sticks

Directions

1

In a small dry frying pan, heat the cloves, cumin seeds, chillies, cardamom, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns and salt for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Tip the contents into a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind into a fine powder.

2

Mix the powder with the yoghurt and then pour over the chicken. Mix well to cover all the chicken pieces, cover then set aside while you prepare the onion paste.

3

Heat the oil in a large pan over a moderate heat and gently fry the onion, garlic and ginger for 10 minutes until very soft and golden. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly before blending together in a food processor or with an stick blender until smooth. Return the onion paste back to the pan then mix in the chicken and marinade and cinnamon sticks. Bring this to a bubbling simmer then reduce the heat to very low and simmer gently for 40 minutes, partially covered until the chicken is tender and the sauce thickened. Remove from the heat and adjust salt levels if neccessary.

4

I garnish mine with tomatoes and coriander and sometimes a few toasted almonds and serve alongside Indian breads or fluffy basmati rice.

Ingredients

 1 kg chicken thigh fillets (cut into large pieces)
 250 g Greek style yoghurt
 8 garlic cloves
 2 tsp cumin seeds
 6 dried chillies (or 2 tsp chilli powder)
 6 cardamom (bruised)
 1 tsp poppy seeds
 ½ tsp fennel seeds
 2 tsp coriander seeds
 1 tsp black peppercorns
 1 tsp salt
 4 medium onions (sliced)
 4 garlic cloves (chopped)
 5 cm piece fresh ginger )chopped)
 2 cinnamon sticks

Directions

1

In a small dry frying pan, heat the cloves, cumin seeds, chillies, cardamom, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns and salt for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Tip the contents into a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind into a fine powder.

2

Mix the powder with the yoghurt and then pour over the chicken. Mix well to cover all the chicken pieces, cover then set aside while you prepare the onion paste.

3

Heat the oil in a large pan over a moderate heat and gently fry the onion, garlic and ginger for 10 minutes until very soft and golden. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly before blending together in a food processor or with an stick blender until smooth. Return the onion paste back to the pan then mix in the chicken and marinade and cinnamon sticks. Bring this to a bubbling simmer then reduce the heat to very low and simmer gently for 40 minutes, partially covered until the chicken is tender and the sauce thickened. Remove from the heat and adjust salt levels if neccessary.

4

I garnish mine with tomatoes and coriander and sometimes a few toasted almonds and serve alongside Indian breads or fluffy basmati rice.

Imperial Chicken Curry

To help make this curry even easier to prepare – grind up the spices in advance and store in a sealed jar. You’ll cut the cooking time in half.

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