I had been making South Indian curries the last few times I had made it and decided it was time to make something from the North. One of my dear friends made a delicious Punjabi chicken curry some years back when she visited us in Chennai. I have made that a few times and this time decided to tweak it a bit.
I wanted it a bit more creamier, so I added some cashew and almond paste to the original tomato onion base. As always, I marinated the chicken for about 2 hours; I find it makes the chicken much more tender and able to absorb the flavours of the curry better. Don't mistake the creaminess of the curry for blandness though; this curry is spicy and nothing like the non- descript sweetish tomato and cream curries one finds in most restaurants these days.
The best part of the curry though was the freshly ground cinnamon powder which I added at the end. Though I used whole spices in the beginning, the cinnamon powder gave a distinctive taste to the curry instead of the generic garam masala taste which most curries have. I'm going to do this more often I think, replace the garam masala powder with just one spice powder.
This dish goes to celebrate the first anniversary of Think Spice - that wonderful brainchild of dear Sunita - come join the fun at Sunita's World!
Creamy Chicken Curry
Chicken - 500gms
Yoghurt - 1/2 cup
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Onions - 2-3 grated
Tomatoes - 2-3 pureed
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Cashews - 8-10
Almonds - 5-6
Cinnamon - 1 " stick
Cardamom pods - 2
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp
Cream - 2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
salt to taste
1. Mix the marinade ingredients and soak the chicken pieces in it for atleast an hour or two.
2. Soak cashews and almonds in warm water for fifteen minutes, skin the almonds and grind to a smooth paste.
3. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add the whole spices and saute till they change colour.
4. Add the grated onions and saute for about 5-6 minutes till it changes colour.
5. Add the red chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder to the onion paste and saute for another 5 minutes.
6. Add the marinated chicken pieces and stir fry on high for 5 minutes. Lower flame, add the cashew almond paste and tomato puree along with salt and a cup of water and bring to a boil
7. Lower flame, cover tightly and simmer for about 15 minutes till the gravy comes together and the chicken is cooked.
8. Add the cinnamon powder and cream and turn off the flame.