Here is a recipe that I would like to claim to have invented or discovered on my own. One find day, I thought why not put pepper in a regular curd - based chicken curry, and voila! I have been cooking that same dish as my trademark dish since then.
- 1 kg chicken (serves 3-5 people)
- 1 large cup of curd (300-500 mg)
- 3 tsp Pepper powder
- 4 tsp Meat (mutton) powder
- 1 tsp Red chilly powder
- 1.5 tbsp Ginger - garlic paste
- 5 onions
- 4 fresh tomatoes
- 2 tbsp cooking oil (or butter!)
- Being a chicken curry, chances of going wrong are minimal
- Quite delicious!
Stage 1: Marination
- Wash the chicken carefully under running water
- In a large bowl, put the curd, add the ginger-garlic paste, the pepper powder, 1 tsp salt and the red chiily powder. Mix the ingredients well to create the base.
- Pat dry the chicken pieces and add one-by-one to the marinade. Ensure that the marinade covers every piece well.*
- Leave in the fridge overnight
Stage 2: Cooking
- Heat the cooking oil (or butter) in a large vessel
- Chop the onions and add to the oil once heated**
- Chop the tomatoes and add to the mix when the onions start turning golden-brown (which indicates that it is at the cusp of getting burnt)**
- Wait for the mix to become slightly dry, then add the meat masala and 2-3 tsp of salt (to taste)
- Mix the ingredients well and heat (on low flame) till the mix is very, very dry***
- Add a cup of water, bring to boil and keep mixing
- Now add the chicken marinade that you made the previous night and mix well
- Switch to a low flame, cover the vessel and keep mixing every 5 minutes
- After about 30 mins, your chicken is ready!****
- Green chillies: If you want the gravy to be really spicy, add 3-4 chopped green chillies with the onion at the beginning of stage 2.
- Extra spices: I prefer a very spicy curry, so I add very minute quantities (0.5 tsp) of other spices - eg. coriander powder, cumin powder, chicken powder etc. after adding the meat masala
* - ideally, you need to make 2-3 cuts on every chicken piece so that the marinade is absorbed well. I've never done it, so I guess it doesn't impact the taste too much.
** - another option is to create a paste out of the onion and tomatoes (separately) in a mixer.
*** - this is the most crucial step. You want the mix to be dry (so that the powders are well cooked), but do not want to burn it. Use your judgment here, but as long as you're checking every 2-3 minutes, it should be okay.
**** - when exactly you end the cooking is based on your taste. My suggestion would be to eat a small piece of the chicken to figure out if it is cooked enough for your taste