This post has been a long time coming. I've been making this cilantro chicken curry for quite some time now and wanted to share the recipe with you for quite a while.
The photos and recipe were ready to be shared in a blog post and to be delivered straight to your email. (Not subscribed to the blog yet? Please do, it hardly takes two minutes of your time. Click here).
The problem was that I had to work on other seasonal/holiday recipes and get them published on the blog, and this humble cilantro chicken curry recipe got sidelined.
No, not anymore.
I have decided to give it the due respect it deserves. I am going to share the recipe for the chicken curry that is for sure going to make you happy, if you are the kind of person who loves a good chicken curry.
Also, if you are the kind of person who does not like slogging in the kitchen, then this will make you doubly happy.
When I talk to my friends here in the US, most of them tell me, they love Indian Curry.
Hmm, I say and nod my head. 🙂 <bracing myself for the next comment>
They continue, you must be using a lot of "Curry Powder".
Curry Powder? I never use curry powder.
Now, it is their turn to nod their heads, but in surprise? amazement? are you kidding me? kinda way!
Yep, I never use the curry powder we get here in the US.
Out of curiosity, a few weeks back, I actually bought some curry powder to try it out in the Indian dishes, but I have not used it. It looks and tastes more like ground turmeric (well, a little spicy turmeric) than anything else to me. Someday, I will be bold enough to try it in one of my recipes.
Till then, it is the blend of aromatic, fresh, whole/ground spices, fresh herbs and all sorts of magical combinations of these.
This chicken curry was a "brain wave" recipe adaptation from my Lima beans Curry. I have had people ask me whether they can use coconut milk in my lima beans curry recipe. I have not tried it for lima beans curry (yet), but I think it should work, will keep you posted.
Yes, yes, I am coming back to the chicken curry.
This recipe is perfect for those days when you are hard pressed for time, as there is not much prep work to be done. And the hands on time for the recipe is very minimal. An absolute win-win situation, I say.
Wondering what to serve with this cilantro chicken curry? Well, you have two choices - serve the curry with rice or with Naan.
Or like me, go for the third choice - serve both rice and Naan.
It is ideal for potluck parties if you are a potluck party person 🙂 .
Oh, oh! before I forget, I have to tell you something about the coconut milk that I use. I used to buy the coconut milk in cans and was pretty happy with the results till I discovered Maggi Coconut Milk powder. Nowadays, I prefer this over the canned coconut milk. Using the coconut milk powder does not seem to be leaving an after-taste. I buy it either from my local Indian store or get it from Amazon.
- 2.2 lb (1 kilogram) chicken
- 1 tablespoon oil (plus extra if needed)
- 2-3 cloves
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 2 teaspoon paprika/Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric/turmeric powder/haldi
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander/coriander powder
- Salt to taste
Grind to paste
- 400 milliliter coconut milk (see recipe notes)
- 1 small bunch (about 2 to 2.5 oz) cilantro leaves/ coriander leaves
- 2-3 Serrano Pepper (adjust to taste)
- 2 medium sized (300-350 grams ) onions
- 1 tablespoon ginger -garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon tamarind pulp
- Cut the chicken into curry sized (bite sized) pieces.
- In a medium sized bowl, add the ingredients listed under marination along with the bite sized chicken pieces and coat the chicken pieces well. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
Grind to paste
- Wash and pat dry cilantro leaves. Roughly chop the leaves.
- Peel, wash and roughly chop the onions. Place the onion pieces in a microwave safe bowl and add 2-3 tablespoons of water. Microwave (high power) covered for 2-3 minutes or till the onions pieces are blanched.
- In a food processor or blender, add the coconut milk, blanched onions, and all other ingredients listed under the "Grind to paste" section and make into a smooth paste.
- Heat oil in a skillet or kadhai on medium high heat and add the chicken pieces. Fry for a minute or two till the pieces brown on side. Flip over the pieces and fry the other side too. Remove from oil and keep it aside till it is ready to use.
- To the same oil (add extra if needed), add the cloves, cinnamon stick and saute for a few seconds. Then add the curry leaves. Give it a quick stir. Pour the ground paste and the tamarind paste and bring to a boil. Add the browned chicken pieces and cook covered for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked well.
- Season to taste.
- Remove the lid and cook for a couple of minutes uncovered to thicken the sauce.
- Serve hot with rice or Naan.
1. I have not tried this dish with freshly squeezed coconut milk. I prefer to use the coconut milk made using Maggi Coconut Milk powder in this recipe. You can also use the coconut milk in cans. The cans are usually 420 ml, so you can use the whole can and boil a little extra time to thicken the sauce.
2. If Paprika is not available, use Kashmiri red chilli powder for color. The Serrano pepper is the one that adds the heat to the dish. If Serrano pepper is not available, use any spicy green peppers of your choice.
3. Leftovers can be stored in airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
4. I prefer to blanch the onions in the microwave to avoid the bitterness it imparts when using ground onions.
5. If you want to make it spicy, here are few more ideas. Increase the amount of green peppers, marinate with additional black pepper or use Cayenne pepper while marinating.