Indian chicken curry recipe

Frankly speaking, my family and I have perfected the art of quick cooking. We constantly adapt and evolve our own styles by making things in a hurry, and this chicken curry recipe is an excellent example of that. The basic recipe was adapted from an old “Chatushporni” recipe – written back in the early 1990s when I would eagerly wait for the weekends to get my hands on the supplement that came with the main newspaper, filled with news of good food and fashion. Ma would look at the front page, and I would look into the back of it, eagerly reading the recipes, and, if I liked them, note one down in my recipe notebook.

pressure cooker chicken curry 

I first made this quick chicken curry recipe when I was fourteen. Since then, it has been modified countless times, and now, I think I have hit a spot which is perfect. If you don’t have a blender in the house, or something which would help mince/paste everything quickly, this chicken recipe might take more time, but if you have a blender and a pressure cooker, this recipe can be cooked under 40 minutes, from start to finish.

Begin by adding a teaspoon of mustard oil, 2 teaspoons of vinegar, a teaspoon each of ginger and garlic paste, and half teaspoon each of red chilli powder and turmeric powder on 500 gm. chicken (with bone), cut in medium pieces. While this is marinating, heat a pressure cooker, and add some mustard oil (about 2-3 tablespoon’s worth). Let the mustard oil really heat up, and lose all rawness, then throw in a teaspoon of sugar. Let the sugar caramelize till it is dark golden. Careful, keep an eye on it, because dark golden turns to brown within seconds, and that’s not good.

marinating chicken

Make a quick paste of 2 medium purple onions with a little bit of water. The result should be about 1/2 cup’s worth (slightly more/less is ok), and once the sugar caramelizes, add this paste, along with 1-2 tablespoons of water. There would be plenty of sound and steam, so move out of the path, and let everything subside. Throw in a few peppercorns, a stick of cinnamon, and a couple of whole cardamoms, crushed with the back of your heavy spoon to make sure they release a bit of flavors. Now, over medium heat, cook this paste, stirring, until it releases some oil. As soon as that happens, add 2 tablespoons of tomato purée, and then, cook till the tomato purée is no longer raw, and there is a bit of oil coming out of the paste.

searing masala

At this point, throw in a bay leaf or two, followed by the chicken. Sear the chicken over high heat till it is well-cooked on all sides, about 7-10 minutes. Stir it every now and then. Meanwhile peel 2-3 potatoes if you like, and cut them up into pieces. Once the chicken is seared, throw in the potatoes. Add a large teaspoon full of coriander powder, more turmeric powder if life isn’t complete for you without it, and a teaspoon of kashmiri mirch powder (use paprika if you dont have that, or add more red chilli powder) because you want the gravy to be red and pretty. I also add a few whole pearl onions, peeled and cleaned, as well as thick cut pieces of carrots, but you can skip that.

 chicken curry recipes

Add 1 cup of warm water, salt to taste, and then, let everything come to a boil over high heat, then close pressure cooker lid, let it come to full steam, then drop the temperature to a simmer, and pressure cook for 5-8 minutes, depending on your cooker. Mine cooks within 5 minutes, though. Once the time’s up, switch off the pressure cooker, and wait for it to cool down on its own, before opening the lid. In case you don’t have a pressure cooker, make this in a heavy-bottomed pan, and cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.Now is the time to contemplate what this quick chicken curry should be served with. I love this with plain white rice, but, it also is quite amazing with rotis, parathas, bread slices, as well as some pulao or jeera rice.

Quick chicken curry recipe
Written by Poorna Banerjee

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