here), it really doesn't taste awesome.
So the other day I made this 'authentic' chicken curry after a lot of trouble..and by trouble i mean dry roasting the spices, grinding, then marinating and cooking and the final outcome was just like any other boring chicken curry. I asked Ro how it was and he said 'tastes like usual' which was enough to trigger the emotions. I whined about how the chicken curries always taste so horrid and how I hate it when things don't work out fine, and of course my favourite, how I hate cooking altogether.
Ria had mentioned the same and coincidentally, both of them mentioned the Eastern chicken masala brand. So on one of our recent visits to the Indian grocery store, I picked up one packet, and just 2 days back decided to try it out.
I must say its my favourite chicken curry so far. I mean taste wise its not out of this world or anything. But its damn easy to make and goes well with appams, rice, roti and even pulao. I have the habit of emptying the contents of the masala packets to glass containers (cos I personally hate those paper packs) and I was itching to do the same with this packet, but had to hold on till I wrote down the recipe. So pardon the horrid pictures (blaming the weather here) and the hurried post.
On a completely different note, I have started writing a food column for an expat magazine and I'm thrilled to say that the first edition is out. You can check it out here (Gorgeous Goa, pg. 18).
Eastern chicken masala powder- 4 1/2 to 5 tbsp
Onion- 1 large, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
Ginger- 1 tbsp, peeled and roughly chopped
Garlic- 5 pods, roughly chopped
Green chillies- 2
Water- 2 cups
Slightly thick coconut milk- 1 cup
Potatoes- 2 medium, peeled and cut into cubes (optional)
Salt- to taste
Oil- 2 tbsp
Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Meanwhile grind together ginger, garlic and green chillies to a paste (it need not be really smooth). Keep aside.
When you are ready to cook, heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan and splutter mustard seeds.
Add half of the curry leaves and onions and sauté for a couple of minutes.
Once the onions start sweating and becomes translucent, add the ground paste.
Continue sautéing on medium heat till the raw smell disappears, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Tip in the marinated chicken and fry for a couple of minutes, just to char the exterior (this step is optional)
Add the cubed potatoes and 2 cups of water, give a proper stir and cover and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or till the chicken is cooked through. Keep stirring in between.
Then open the lid and add the coconut milk and remaining curry leaves.
Check for salt and continue cooking without the lid for about 10 more minutes.
Once the gravy has thickened a bit, take it off the flame and serve hot with some steamed rice or appams.
The curry is spicy, but not in an overpowering way, it was just right for us. I used mild green chillies and perhaps that was the reason. If using hot chillies, adjust according to taste or omit altogether.
The original recipe called for just 3 cups of water, I substituted 1 cup with coconut milk
Once the curry cooled down, I froze it in an air tight container. You just need to thaw it and then heat it on the hob top when ready to use.
You can use more or less any meat/chicken masala the same way or replace with about a tbsp of coriander powder, a 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp pepper powder, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (these measurements are approximate, so don't count on it entirely).