If you like Indian food and you are not actually from India it is most likely that you rarely cook it at home but would rather go out or have it delivered to you and I am the same way; I love Vij’s in Vancouver, BC (for example) because it is slightly more sophisticated and is always consistent and delicious. But occasionally I do cook Indian food at home because I love the smell of spices and the vivid colors. This recipe is a classic, simple chicken curry appropriate for a mid-week dinner as well as for your guests. If you want to customize and add other vegetables please feel free, my only advice is to stick to 2-3 types so each one is distinct and present.
What you need:
1 onion – finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
3 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 Tbsp chopped ginger
2-3 (depending on size) tomatoes – chopped [I used 3 small Roma tomatoes]
2 chicken breasts – cubed into bite size pieces
10-15 crimini mushrooms (button mushrooms are ok, 3-4 portobello mushrooms would be awesome) – quartered
1 red bell pepper – sliced into ribbons or rounds
Spices: 1 Tbsp each salt, cumin, coriander powder, garam masala; 1 tsp turmeric; 1/2 tsp each black pepper & cayenne pepper.
1/2 cup thick (greek) yogurt
1/2 cup (light) sour cream
2 cups water
1/2 cup cilantro with the stems – chopped fine
Heat a few tablespoons of oil over medium heat, add onion and cinnamon – let cook for about 5 minutes, the onion should be golden; add garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add ginger, tomatoes and spices cook for 5 minutes longer or until you see that the oil separates from the solids. Add chicken and cook for a few minutes until its cooked from the outside (not the inside); add peppers and mushrooms and cook for a couple more minutes. Add sour cream, yogurt and water – stir well, increase heat and bring to a boil; reduce heat back to medium, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve with rice (garnish with more cilantro).
I like to add cumin seeds to my rice a few minutes before its done.
The beauty of this dish is that it is a soup and a main course all at once which makes it a very good choices for those rainy (or snowy), cold, winter evenings. Stay warm!