How to Cook Chicken Curry

2 lbs chicken; 1 tsp salt; 1/4 c oil; 1 1/2 c onion; 2 tsp garlic; 2 tsp ginger; 2 tsp cumin; ½ tsp turmeric; 6 tsp coriander; ¼ tsp each cayenne pepper, fennel; ½ tsp pepper; 1/2 c water; 2 c diced tomato; 1/2 c sour cream; 1/4 tsp garam masala; 2 tbsp cilantro; 2 tsp lemon. Fry chicken til brown. Fry onions, garlic, ginger til soft. Add spices, 1 tbsp water; fry 1 min. Add tomatoes; cook to paste. Add sour cream, 1 tsp salt, chicken & remaining water til boil. Add garam masala; simmer 20 min.

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Don't rely on restaurants, takeout joints, and the frozen food aisle for your Indian food fix. Make it at home anytime by taking the Indian food cooking lessons in these Howcast videos. You'll learn how to make paneer, chicken tikka masala, chicken curry, dal, tandoori chicken, and many other Indian food favorites.

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Okay. Our tomatoes have cooked down nicely, so we have a nice, soft, wet masala here. We're going to add to this some sour cream. You can use yogurt also. You can also use coconut milk. If this were a South Indian style curry, it would have coconut milk, but it's a North Indian style curry so we're using dairy, and in this case sour cream because it's really nice. It makes it so rich and delicious. And, were also going to add a little bit of water. It's starting to smell really, really good, too. The warmth in this curry is going to come from the cayenne and the black pepper. That's the thing about Indian curry, they shouldn't have too much of one kind of spice. You should never be able to taste a dominant ingredient, in terms of the ground spices, or in terms of the hot spices. It should be a medley; one, full, nice round flavor in the end. The heat should come from different sources, because if it just comes from cayenne it kind of gets caught in your throat, and black pepper is a little hot on the tongue. So, you'll often find a mixture of cayenne and black pepper, and then green chile too, which adds that fresh vegetable-like heat. So, we have our sauce all made. Now, we're going to add our chicken pieces and coat them nicely. These have been partially cooked, but they're going to need some time to cook in this sauce to get cooked all the way through and also to absorb all these nice flavors. Chicken curry is really good the day you make it, but it's even better the next day. So, if you have the chance to prepare your curry a day ahead, it's a great idea because the chicken will absorb all of those wonderful spices and have a lovely, deep flavor. Okay. Now, we're going to add another typical North Indian ingredient, which is garam masala. It's a wonderfully fragrant blend of cinnamon, clove, black pepper, cumin, and cardamom. We'll just sprinkle that on top. Okay. Now, we're going to put the cover on this and let this simmer for about 30 minutes. Okay. Our chicken curry has been cooking for about 20 minutes. Looks really, really nice and it smells great. We're going to finish it with a little bit of lemon juice, sprinkle that over the top, and some nice, fresh, chopped cilantro which always a lovely way to finish up curry. Now, our chicken curry is complete.

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  • Maya Kaimal

    Maya Kaimal is a cookbook author and Indian food authority. A former photo editor of magazines including Saveur, Maya has published two award-winning Indian cookbooks inspired by her South Indian father's cooking. In 2003 she left her career in publishing to launch Maya Kaimal Fine Indian Foods. Her product line honors her culinary heritage and makes the exotic and enticing flavors of Indian home cooking an everyday experience for Americans. They are available at Whole Foods, Costco, Williams-Sonoma and many other retailers across the country.