Parsi Style Chicken Curry

The Parsi community of India originally migrated from Persia about 1,000 years ago. They brought with them many culinary delights, some of which I savoured in Mumbai, where most of this dwindling population lives. There are a handful of excellent Parsi restaurants throughout the city and the food was always delicious and stood out from the local cuisine. I am still on the hunt for a recipe for an amazing Parsi Egg and lamb mince dish I regularly ate for breakfast, but for now this chicken dish will have to suffice. It’s a simple, easy to prepare curry with a very tasty sauce. The poppy seeds bring their own special flavour to the party and the colour is enhanced with the use of food colouring. I usually don’t add colouring, but this dish really did benefit from a bit of ‘joojing’ up. The result is an unusal dish you’re unlikely to taste at any restaurant outside India.

INGREDIENTS:
1kg chicken pieces
4 tablespoons peanut oil
1 onion (grated)
3 cloves garlic (grated)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chilli powder
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 tomatoes (chopped)
1 teaspoon salt
red food colouring (optional)
200ml coconut milk
1/2 lemon (juice of)

DIRECTIONS:
Heat the oil over a moderate heat then fry the onion for 5 minutes until golden brown. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, chilli powder and poppy seeds and fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the chicken and stir well for 4-5 minutes to coat and lightly cook. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the salt and 400ml water. Add a couple of drops of the food colouring, if using, then bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer then remove from the heat. Squeeze in the lemon juice check for salt and serve.

SERVING:
Serve with plenty of fluffy basmati rice to soak up all the sauce.

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