I have a huge love for India and Indian food. When I was growing up my family was very close friends with an Indian family, the Marwah’s. I so enjoyed going to parties and dinners at their home. I was raised on fantastic Indian meals. And, I crave them now on a regular basis. The only answer was to learn to cook the meals myself. I remember helping in the Marwah’s kitchen … and I’ve taught myself to cook those meals I remember from my childhood. The famous Indian chef Madhur Jaffrey has helped me immensely with her wonderful cookbooks. If you’re interested in Indian cooking, I highly recommend them. This is my own creation – blended from several recipes. “Namaste”!
This recipe makes a large amount. Like many Italian foods, I think Indian food is better the second day. So, I always make plenty for left overs. If you prefer, you can easily cut this recipe in half.
3 Tbls olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 white onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
15 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tsp turmeric
1 ½ Tbls ground cumin
4 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp cayenne pepper, more or less depending on your taste
2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
¼ cup water
1 Tbsp Garam Masala (Indian spice blend. I purchase mine already made, but you can make your own. recipe follows)
Cooked long grain white rice, preferably Basmati.
1. Place oil in large non stick skillet or pan that has a tight fitting lid. When oil is warm, add cumin seeds. Let sit until seeds begin to sputter. Be careful not to burn.
2. Add onions and garlic. Cook until onions begin to cook down. About 5 minutes
3. Add chicken thigh pieces. Add the remaining spices, except for Garam Masala.. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the outside of the chicken pieces begin to cook. About 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Add water. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cover with lid.
5. Cook for approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender.
6. Remove lid, add Garam Masala.
7. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes more. If sauce needs thickening, you can add a little cornstarch mixed with cold water. Be careful not to get it too thick.
8. Serve Indian Chicken over rice.
Garam Masala Recipe
1 tbsp black pepper
1/4 cup coriander seeds
1 tsp seeds from green cardamom pods
1 one-inch stick of cinnamon
Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Dry roast the peppercorns, stirring frequently, about 3-4 minutes until aromatic. Turn out into a bowl. Repeat with the remaining spices, roasting one at a time until fragrant and stirring to prevent burning. Grind the spices to a powder in a spice mill or coffee grinder. Let the powder cool completely in a bowl then transfer to a jar, seal tightly, label and date. Store in a cool dark place for no more than 3 months.