Difficulty: Medium - some experience needed
One (1) chicken (~ 3½ lbs)
Three (3) Tbsp ghee or oil
Two (2) large onions, finely chopped
Three (3) cloves garlic, finely chopped
1½ tsp finely grated fresh ginger
Three (3) Tbsp curry powder
One (1) tsp chilli powder (optional)
Three (3) tsp salt
Three (3) ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or 1 can [14.5 oz] canned Italian-style fresh tomatoes)
Two (2) Tbsp chopped fresh coriander or mint leaves
Two (2) tsp garam masala
½ cup yoghurt
Four (4) oz. raw cashews, finely ground
Cut chicken into serving pieces. For curry, pieces should not be large, so separate drumsticks from thighs, wings from breasts, etc., and cut breasts into four. The smaller the piece of chicken, the better the spices can penetrate.
Heat ghee or oil in a large saucepan and gently fry onion, garlic, and ginger until soft and golden, stirring occasionally. Long, slow cooking at this stage is the basis of a good curry.
Add curry powder and (if desired) chilli powder, and stir for one minute. Add salt, tomatoes, chopped herbs, and cook to a pulp, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add chicken. Stir well to coat chicken with spice mixture. Cover tightly and simmer on very low heat for 45 minutes, or until chicken is tender, stirring with a wooden spoon every 15 minutes and scraping pan base to ensure that spices do not stick. Stir in garam masala and yoghurt and simmer, uncovered, for five minutes. Last of all stir in the cashews and heat through.
*Meaganâ€™s notes: If youâ€™re making this earlier in the day â€“ it can very easily be an all-day process â€“ wait to add the garam masala yoghurt, and cashews until just before youâ€™re planning to serve.
The whole wooden-spoon thing is true. It works better that way. No idea why, but it does.
S&W makes good canned Italian-style tomatoes, if you want to go that route.
Garam masala is a spice mixture, including pepper, cloves, cinnamon, brown cardamom, cumin seeds, bay leaves, and coriander seeds. It can be bought premade at most natural foods warehouses, or my store of choice â€“ the Souk, in Pike Place Market (on the other side of the street from the â€œmarket-marketâ€; its address is 1916 Pike Place Market and is just north of Pike Place & Stewart. They have high quality garam masala and curry powder in a variety of amounts. Some of the curry powder is in tins, but I like the curry powder & garam masala that they package themselves.