Lahori Chicken Curry with Whole Spices and Vegetables

Lahori Chicken Curry with Whole Spices and Vegetables

As many of you know, I have recently decided to learn more about Indian cuisine and cooking methods. I’ve tried a variety of recipes, and I have finally gained some confidence in my ability to build my own Indian-inspired dishes. I’m using Suvir Saran and Stephanie Lyness’s cookbook, “Indian Home Cooking”, as a guide and instructional manual to learn about and build upon my Indian cuisine cooking skills. This recipe was inspired by a dish in this cookbook, but with a few modifications and additions tailored to my personal preferences. The noteable changes were: less chicken, but the addition of zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms; adjusting spices to taste; and the addition of spinach to add more nutritional value and substance to the sauce. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

 SERVINGS  [4]

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds chicken breast, cut into bite-size chunks

1 large red potato, cut into bite-size chunks

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

2 medium onions, roughly chopped

6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons ghee

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

12 green cardamom pods

9 whole cloves

10 whole black peppercorns

3 dried red chiles

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 fresh hot green chile, cut in half

3 large tomatoes, chopped

2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste

10 ounces frozen spinach, defrosted and drained well

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 zucchini, sliced

1 red bell pepper, finely sliced

1 cup button mushrooms, quartered

1 cup water

1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro

Juice from 1 lemon 

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix well and let the mixture stand in the fridge while you make the sauce.

In a food processor, pulse together the onion, garlic, and ginger until finely minced. Set aside.

Combine 1 tablespoon of ghee with the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, red chiles, coriander, and cumin in a large and deep pot over medium heat. Cook until fragrant (approximately 1 minute), stirring frequently. Add in the minced onion mixture, green chile, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for approximately 10 minutes until the vegetables begin to brown. Stir frequently.

Remove the green chile, then stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, spinach, and sugar. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Set aside.

Heat the remaining teaspoon of ghee into the same pot over medium-high heat. Add in the chicken, potatoes, zucchini, pepper, and mushrooms. Cook for approximately 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Then, add in the yogurt, one tablespoon at a time, stirring well between additions. Cook, stirring, until some of the moisture has evaporated.

Add the pureed tomato mixture to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the water, then bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is cooked through (approximately 30 minutes). Stir every 5-10 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to keep the sauce from sticking. Add small splashes of water to prevent the sauce from burning to the bottom of the pot, if necessary. After the 30 minutes is up, uncover completely and cook for another 5 minutes so the sauce can reduce and thicken. Stir in the cilantro and lemon juice. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve over rice or with naan bread.

What do you guys think? Is this a recipe you’d try? I absolutely LOVED this recipe, and I made a huge batch that I could eat for lunches over the course of the week. Looking for more authentic Indian recipe ideas? Try Chilled Yogurt Soup with Cucumber and Mint or Coconut Curry Farro!

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