Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Chicken and Broccoli Curry

I love curry. I love having steamed rice and piping chicken curry and I'd be happy if someone would make me some everyday. Because, as much as I love eating curry, I'm not a big fan of making curry.
A good curry almost always, involves grinding a masala and if you're Mangalorean, you know you'll need some grated coconut as well. Though I grate coconut in batches and store it in the freezer, the thought of grinding it, roasting spices , making a masala makes it a bit too much effort and on a weekday I think I wouldn't fancy making time for it either.

So then I thought I should spend some time trying to simplify a curry and yet be able to sink into some finger licking, bowl wiping delicious curry, with half the effort or almost none. And so I did. I was on a mission now. After a couple of trial and errors, I realized I had one special ingredient that could make a curry as creamy and delicious as any other, and mostly just with powders. There. . .  no roasting , grinding spices, no grating coconut.

And now about that very special ingredient. It's a staple in Indian households. Ginger garlic paste , and oh I need to be specific, homemade ginger garlic paste. For years, I have used store bought ginger garlic paste and thought it to be a fitting substitute for homemade ginger garlic paste, but I got to swallow my pride and humbly admit I couldn't be more wrong. There is nothing like freshly made homemade ginger garlic paste. When I say fresh, I don't mean you have to make it just before you toss it into a pan. You can make a jar full of it and store it in your fridge. It'll stay good for weeks. It's pretty simple to make, grind peeled garlic and ginger, 70 percent garlic, 30 percent ginger. I also add a few green chilies  to the paste, and if you're ok with that tinge of spice, you can do that do.

If you have ground paste in your fridge, this recipe needs absolutely no grinding at all. I used broccoli with the chicken, mainly because I love broccoli. It's healthy, tasty and I needed to find another way to cook it than bake it every time. I tossed the broccoli in a bit of butter for a minute or two on a high flame before I added it to the curry. You can also add it directly to the curry and it'll be just as perfect. Also I used chicken legs and thighs in this curry but you can use any part of the chicken, cut into medium sized pieces. Don't be put off by the list of ingredients. These are everyday kitchen ingredients and you only have to toss them altogether into your dish. That's the only effort involved.

Chicken and Broccoli Curry


1 1/2 tsp oil
3 cloves
1 cardamom
1 star anise
1 Onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
15 cloves of garlic, 1 inch ginger, 2 green chilies ground to a paste
1 tsp each chilly powder, coriander powder
a pinch of turmeric and fenugreek powder
salt to taste
500 gms chicken thighs and legs,
200 gms broccoli florets
2 tbps low fat cream (amul cream)

1. Heat oil in a non stick vessel. Toss in the whole spices.  Fry the onions till soft. Add the tomatoes.
2. Add the ground paste and fry till it changes colour.
3. Ad the powders. Mix with the paste and fry for about a minute.Sprinkle a tsp of water if the masala  sticks to the pan.
4.Turn the flame to high and add the chicken pieces. Mix with the masala in the pan and fry for about 2 -3 mins.
5. Add one cup water, salt to taste. Turn the flame to low, cover the pan and cook till chicken is almost done.
6. Add the broccoli. Let it cook for about 4 mins. Lastly add the cream.

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