Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chicken cardamom curry

I started cooking once I came to Germany. before I was pampered by my mom enough. Though she did expect something in return that I do something meaningful in my life, study, at least be qualified enough to be independent and follow my own chosen way. She always said " cooking is no big deal, you will learn it one day once the need arises." I still learnt a lot of cooking through watching and, of course, we were allowed to cook during the summer vacations if we felt like it and we - me and my sisters, did make use of these opportunities, even if not so often. Usually we would look up some yummy recipes from the magazines like Femina and try it. Sometimes some of my mom's recipes if I liked them a lot. Those were the times. Sigh!
Since my parent's were vegetarians - now, for those not from India- it is no big deal in India, as it is a way of life there and you really don't have to make any compromises of any kinds. So, I didn't get exposed to eating chicken until I went to college and lived in a hostel with friends from Manipur (India) who cooked during the summer break when the canteen closed for a couple of weeks. Once I came to Germany I also tried cooking chicken myself from what I had learnt from them and from the recipes in the Hawkins recipe book which I got with the pressure cooker I brought from India with me. I was told that pressure cookers are different and not so good outside India. Well, the pressure cooker got damaged after using it a couple of times, but at least I could make use of the book!! :D
This is my very first trial at making an Indian curry other than Chicken Makkhan. If I make chicken Indian style I usually just marinate it with some Indian spices , fry it and add some veggies to it. That's it! On seeing Soma's beautiful pictures of this wonderful looking curry, I thought that I had to try it. I did not make it exactly like hers, but I tried to keep the spices the same.

Chicken cardamom curry

Recipe by PG of My Kitchen Stories

Based on the recipe at Soma's eCurry


3 chicken breast fillets, washed, pat dried and cubed into 2-3 cm
(1/2 ") pieces
3 medium potatoes, washed, peeled and cubed into 2-3 cm (1/2 ") pieces
1-1/2 cups green beans, washed, ends cut off and cut into 4 cm (1-1/2 ") pieces
1 heaped tsp cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp powdered jaggery
salt to taste
oil for frying

1/4 tsp turmeric
1-1/2 tsp
coriander seeds, ground
1 tsp salt

Onion paste:
2 medium onions, chopped coarsely
3 cm piece ginger (about 1"), chopped coarsely -I used up the last 1/2 " piece remaining in my basket
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 heaped tsp tamarind paste
1" piece cinnamon stick (half) -use one whole, as per your liking
1 dried red chili, broken into large pieces
2 cloves, (I ground them before adding)
6 green cardamoms, the seeds, (I ground them before adding)
1 tsp turmeric
1 heaped tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp dried coconut (as a substitute for 3/4 cup coconut milk)

chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) for garnish (optional)

  • prepare chicken and marinate (marinade above) for 10 to 20 minutes
  • in the meanwhile prepare the onion paste by grinding everything together or first the dry ingredients in the dry grinder and then together
  • heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and fry chicken on medium heat, covered, till almost done, turning once
  • take out of the pan, clean it
  • now heat 2 tbsp oil in the pan and add cumin till it splutters, add the potatoes and green beans along with turmeric and fry on medium heat till done, stirring in between
  • in the meanwhile, in another pan using 2-3 tbsp oil fry the onion paste on medium heat, stirring in between, till roasted (about 10 minutes), add a few drops of water if required
  • mix everything together (chicken, potatoes, and fried onion paste) in the pan and add 1/2 cup water and cook for about 10 minutes till you get a nice thick gravy
  • if required, add some more water
  • serve warm garnished with cilantro along with warm Indian rotis (flat bread) and steamed basmati rice
It's no doubt a wonderful curry. Since then I have tried it twice already and I will surely be using this recipe often. Hubby loved it and was very pleased at how well it had turned out- you see I'm not so good at satisfying hubby with food. :D
I liked it a lot and honestly I was a bit skeptical initially, as I always believe that I don't like green (sweet) cardamom in savoury food. Well, until now. :)
Soma, thank you for this wonderful experience. I'm sure if you were on my side while I prepared it, you would have pointed out many improvements. But, I'm learning by doing. The picture doesn't look so perfect and a bit too dry as I had added lesser water and didn't use any coconut milk this time and by the time I took the picture - we had had our lunch- the leftover chicken had even lesser water. But what lovely leftovers for the next day! Delicious!

Some good information on Cardamom at Gernot Kratzer's spice pages:
Cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb.)

If you want to try the curry, go to Soma's Curried Chicken in Cardamom Infused Coconut Sauce at eCurry. You will not only get the recipe but a beautiful story behind it too.

Related posts:
Chicken makkhan


Soma said...

PG..This looks wonderful! The texture looks different than the original... Now I need to try your version. U say its dry, but this kind of sukha chicken is great with parathas of any flat bread.
Glad that u enjoyed.

& Heartful of hugs for putting the link.

Curry Leaf said...

I loved this post,though I am a vegetarian.Even I was pampered ny mother,yes,those were the days

aparna said...

Looks so yummy.

Red Chillies said...

Ah, those were the good old days of being pampered by moms.
PG, hope you are having a good year, "see" you in a few weeks.

Jude said...

A damaged pressure cooker sounds scary -- just thing about it. That thing can probably take someone's head of if it explodes.

PG said...

Soma, Thank you! It no ways compares to yours, but yours helped me learn a little bit more about cooking a good chicken. Hugs back! :)

Curry leaf, that makes me happy. Yes, those were the days...

Thanks Aparna!

RC, ditto And happy holidays!

Jude, Ha ha ha! Don't worry, it was nothing of that kind. It broke while not in use. Or for that matter the problem was the handle which got stuck in the cooker, upsidedown at that. And whatever I did made the thing worse till nothing could be done. :(
But, through that experiene i actualy got to find out how good European pressure cookers actualy are.

anudivya said...

I dont make this at home, but I bet who tries it will enjoy it.
Happy Pongal.

anudivya said...

PG, left a comment for you at the Rasamalai post. Thanks for making me thing about the ingredients! I never thought about it.

Priya said...

WOw this seems quite interesting..am gonna try very soon..am craving for these sorts of chicken dishes quite a long...

DEESHA said...

looks nice, I might try this with just potatoes .. Happy Pongal to you