Thursday, 24 July 2014

Curry Chicken with mushrooms and peas

This is one of the most fulfilling recipes. It absolutely satisfies your cravings and hunger without you having to start feeling guilty about anything. The inspiration for this recipe came from the vegetarian version of making mushrooms and pea curry. No one in my house wants to see vegetarian food that’s when I decided to add chicken to it making it utterly delectable.

You can have/serve this curry with anything you prefer – steamed rice, toasted bread, tortillas or rotis. But I served mine with couscous. The recipe is mentioned below.  

In case you are using chicken (drumsticks and thighs) on the bone, you do not need any chicken stock to flavor the dish but If you are using boneless chicken then you need about half a cup of chicken stock in which case it will be half cup chicken stock and half cup of milk.

For the Curry Chicken

500 grams of Chicken
200 grams of Button mushrooms
300 grams of green fresh/frozen peas
10-12 almonds
6 cloves of garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
1 tsp whole cumin
5 medium onions sliced
3-4 green chilies
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
½ cup tomato puree
1 cup whole milk
6 tbsp mild olive oil
Salt and sugar

Chop the garlic and ginger roughly. Heat a heavy bottomed pan, add 1 tbsp oil and saute the almonds until its aroma is released and then throw in the garlic and ginger. Toast until the almonds, ginger and garlic smell wafts through. Blend it into a very fine paste and set aside.

Heat the same pan with 3 tbsp oil, sprinkle the whole cumin on it and let it pop. Saute the onions and chopped green chilies for a few minutes on high, sprinkle some salt on it, give it a good mix and lower the heat completely and cover the pan with a lid. Let the onions stew in its own juices until they are completely soft and mushy. Add the quartered mushrooms and peas. At this point add in all the powdered spices into the mixture and season it liberally with salt. Cook the mushrooms, peas and spices on a high heat before adding the tomato puree. Add in about a teaspoon of sugar. Stir the mixture thoroughly before setting it aside in a bowl.

Heat the same pan with 2 tbsp oil and brown the chicken pieces in it. I like golden brown pieces and thereby I fry it on a high heat until my desired color is achieved. Once the chicken has some color, you will see that it oozes juice into the pan that is when you add the silky almond paste to it. Stir on a high heat until you see the oil separating, and then add the mushroom and peas. Add the liquid, cover with a lid and let it come to a bubbling boil before you reduce the heat to simmer for 15 minutes.
It should be very thick and gloopy giving it a spicy hit yet there should be a creamy undertone. Please note that by spicy I do not mean it to be hot, I am particularly referring it to the use of numerous spices in the curry.

I served this curry on a bed of couscous that I flavored with ginger, mustard and curry leaves.

For the Couscous with ginger and curry leaves

1 cup of couscous
1 ½ cup of chicken stock
3 tbsp mild olive oil
15-20 curry leaves
Handful of raisins
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp julienne ginger
1 tsp green chilies chopped

Bring the chicken stock to a rolling boil and then add it to the couscous. I used somewhere between 1 ¼ cup – 1 ½ cup. It depends on the quality of the instant couscous, sometimes it needs more and sometimes less. Cover with a cling wrap thereby not letting any steam escape. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

In a frying pan, heat 3 tbsp oil, add the ginger, curry leaves, green chilies, mustard and raisins to it. The mustard seeds should pop and the raisins should plump up and look blistered but not black. Fork the couscous fluffing it up before adding the tempered spices. Add in the hot oil and the spices to the bowl of couscous very carefully and stir it thoroughly.

I used raisins to give it some sweetness. When eaten with the curry, it absolutely requires this sweetness from the raisins thereby balancing the spicy gravy.

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