Saturday, May 3, 2014

Chicken Veg Curry: Boneless chicken cooked with vegetables in a rich tomato puree

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I remember digging in to a delicious vegetable curry at Kabab King in Jackson Heights, Queens - NY. It just took my soul away because I am seriously not used to having vegetable curry. So, I decided, not only will I try re-creating the taste and flavors of the vegetable curry, but I will also do a chicken combination version of it - because we are meat lovers. To keep things simple, I have chosen frozen vegetables for this recipe. The taste came out unchanged, and brilliant. Also, to keep this a low-carb recipe, I eliminated potatoes from the vegetables blend. I confess that adding potatoes would have taken this recipe to cloud nine, but I did my body a favor and kept the carbs at bay.
There are no fixed quantities to the amount of chicken and vegetables you use, as long as you make sure you cook them in a generous load of tomato puree, throw in ginger, garlic, green chilies, and cilantro generally. Those are the flavor creators here. O! And not to forget turmeric.


  • Boneless chicken chunks (I like them small to complement the chopped veggies sizes), 9-12 ounces
  • Mixed vegetables (chopped, frozen blends from Safeway / Giant) - the blend I used had carrots, peas, green beans, lima beans, and corn. I added cauliflower (keeping the flower-like buds whole), green bell peppers (chopped in squares), more green beans, more peas - collectively they should amount to 3-4 cups
  • Chopped cilantro, 1-2 cups
  • Sliced ginger, 1 tbsp
  • Onion paste of 1 small onion (grind chopped onion with very little water in a blender)
  • Ginger and garlic paste, 2 tbsp
  • Caraway (nigella) seeds, 3 tsp
  • Ground black pepper powder, 3 tsp
  • Red chili powder, 2 tsp
  • Cumin, 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder, 3 tsp
  • Tomato puree, 2 cups
  • Corn flour, 1/2 tbsp
  • Green chilies, fine chopped, 1 tbsp (more if you like super spicy)
  • Salt to taste
  • Canola (vegetable) oil, 3/4 cup
  1. In a large cooking pot (because anything cooked in tomato puree is bound to splitter splatter everywhere), add the chicken, onion paste, 1 tsp turmeric powder, a pinch of salt, 1 tbsp cumin, ginger and garlic paste, 2 tsp nigella seeds, 2 tsp ground black pepper powder, 1 tsp red chili powder, and oil. Mix well, and set on high heat.
  2. Cook the boneless chicken well for a good 1 minute, then add 1/4 cup water and allow to simmer, fry on high heat for another 2 minutes. 
  3. Add the vegetables, sliced ginger, remaining nigella seeds, ground black pepper, red chili powder, cumin, turmeric powder, green chilies, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook well for a good two minutes.
  4. Add the tomato puree and mix well.
  5. Continue to cook until the tomato puree caramelizes - begins to separate from and release oil.
  6. Add cornflour and fry well for about a few seconds.
  7. Pour in 2 cups of water and mix well.
  8. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook while covered with a lid. Allow the curry to simmer and reduce, until it reaches a creamy consistency. 
  9. Conduct a taste test, and adjust salt and chilies according to your preference.
  10. Add the chopped cilantro, remove from heat, keep the lid on, and set aside. Let the aroma of the cilantro infuse into the curry for about 5 minutes.
  11. Serve hot with a chopped cilantro and ginger garnish.

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