Monday, June 27, 2016

Chicken Kadhai

Gravy-based thick dishes delight me so much. They have simple ingredients, are easy to make and make you feel 'home' instantly. Any problem on your mind can be solved with a bowl of curry and some fresh chapatis to scoop and dunk into it. The dark consistency, the right blend of spices and add to that some fresh ingredients and your curry is ready in less than an hour.

North Indian at heart, Chicken Kadhai is a dish that is cooked in so many ways by adding capsicum and whole spices like cloves, bay leaf, cardamom. I think after Dal Makhani (see the recipe for making restaurant-style Dal Makhani hereand butter chicken, this should be the most-ordered dish in any restaurant serving Punjabi or North Indian food. The simplicity of this recipe makes it stand out and is the reason why most of the times when we have chicken at home, I end up cooking this or the biryani.

Chicken kadhai is one such curry-based dish that we enjoy scooping with soft chapatis. I abstain from eating it with parathas since I find this dish a bit on the heavier side. It doesn't have any milk-based thickeners such as cream or milk or yoghurt but the amount of spice powders in this dish can make it hard to handle if you eat too much of it. Albeit once tasted, its simply hard to resist another serving. Go ahead and try it with naan or paratha or even mix it up with some steamed rice and immerse yourself in other interpretations of this dish.

Here is how I make my Chicken Kadhai which is a favourite at home and this recipe guarantees a love-filled whatsapp from husband when I pack it for him in his lunch!

Prepping Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
Difficulty Level: Easy


Chicken pieces: 1 kg (skinless, bone in)
6-7 onions, sliced or quartered
4-5 tomatoes, pulped
6-7 green chilies
4-5 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
4-5 tbsp Cooking oil
1 tsp red chili powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chicken masala
salt, to taste


1) In a thick bottom and wide wok, add oil, fry the chopped garlic until translucent stirring all the time, add chopped ginger. When that browns slightly, add sliced onions. On a low flame, fry onions until brown. Keep stirring to make sure they don't stick to the bottom or they might burn.
2) Add in pulped tomatoes and green chilies. I grind the green chilies but you can add it chopped or sliced into two. When the tomatoes gravy separate from the oil, put red chili powder, salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder and chicken masala. Let the masala cook with the gravy for a minute.
3) Finally put the chicken pieces, a small bowl of water and cover with a lid for 10 min. Open and check if the the chicken is done. If chicken still doesn't leave the bone, cover and cook for 10 min more. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with hot chapatis.

 Thanks for reading! :-)

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