(recipe and picture: courtesy of Ken K.)
1 lb 9 oz shinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
5 tablespoons sunflower oil or olive oil
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
5 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1-inch fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1-inch piece cinnamon stick, halved
4 green cardmom pods, bruised
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 – 1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
4 tablespoons canned crushed tomatoes
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
8 shallots, halved
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tomato chopped
Indian bread, to serve
Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes and put in a nonmetallic bowl. Add the lemon juice and half the salt and rub well into the chicken. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, add the onions, garlic, and ginger, and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 – 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Transfer the ingredients to a blender or food processor, add the yogurt, and blend to a paste.
Heat 3 tablespoons of the remaining oil in a medium heavy-bottom saucepan over low heat, add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, and peppercorns, and cook, stirring, for 25 – 30 seconds. Add the processed ingredients, increase the heat to medium, and cook stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the turmeric, chili powder, and coriander and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Increase the heat slightly, then add the marinated chicken and cook, stirring, until it changes color. Add the warm water, the remaining salt, and the sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook, uncovered, for an additional 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a small saucepan, add the shallots, and stir-fry until browned and separated. Add the garam masala and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir the shallot mixture into the curry and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the fresh cilantro and chopped tomato and remove from the heat.
Serve immediately with Indian bread. Serves 4.
Wine pairing suggestion:
I paired this slightly spicy, very delicious meal with superior quality German Riesling from Selbach-Oster producer called Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese. Please, don’t get discouraged by the difficult name, please. Without a doubt this is the best Spätlese that Selbach – Oster has crafted in 2005 vintage.