Achari chicken curry is that special curry you need to make when you are craving something hot and spicy. Deceptively simple and lip smacking good, this achari chicken curry is the perfect way to ring in Sunday lunches and cold mid of the week dinners.
I have been playing hide and seek with the kid. Day in . Day out. Games of D seeking me are followed by bouts of hysteric laughter as we play our game of tickles. That is then followed up with a little dancing and twirling. And later, some reading and painting. We have been having a grand old time the past two months. But guess what? Its the last ten days before school reopens and I am getting antsy for some me time, for some unadulterated work time where no one will call me a million times for the most banal of things. Yes. Thank you Motherhood! You are pretty epic but could the schools stop punishing the moms already?? Who else is with me?? Summer fatigue is a real thing as far as I am concerned. Mostly coz working, balancing a kid and working in 45C is a pain. But then days are just getting better.
So after a long and dry spate of some droolacious cold desserts and simple fare, I gave in this Sunday. Gave in and succumbed to the calls of home. As you all know by now there are a few things that spell home as much as a Sunday chicken curry to me. But instead of doing the usual rustic chicken curry that I learnt from ma, I went ahead and gave it a tangy spicy twist of my own. My curries are big and bold flavors. They aren’t for the meek. But boy are they delicious!!! Trust me when I say you will be thanking me after enjoying this simple meal of achari chicken curry served with some uber humble ghee podi rice. Dont have podi? Fret not. Just make some good old steamed Basmati rice to go with this spicy and tangy achari chicken curry.
To be very honest, I know you must be scared looking at that color. But seriously though, it looks deceptively spicy. But fact: its NOT. The color comes from the Kashmiri red chili powder (the only chili powder in my kitchen and a MUST have in your spice cabinet by the way). I blanched tomatoes and made my own puree but you can take the simpler way out and just opt for store bought good quality tomato puree too. But chopped tomatoes dont work. So you definitely need a puree.
So anyways give this achari chicken curry a go sometime soon. Its warm and hearty, filling and no fuss to make , and boy is it “fall off the bone” tender!!
Carrying on the tradition of my childhood days and Sunday lunches with this achari chicken curry. Made with yogurt and the basic pickling spices, garnished with a dollop of coconut milk and dried red onion flakes, this is one delicious bowl of curry. I kept things simple and served it with the humble ghee-podi rice.
If soul had color, mine would be this. Rich. Vibrant. And undeniably colored with the memories of home.
- 1 kg chicken, on the bones, cleaned thoroughly, set aside.
- 2 large onion chopped fine
- 2 large tomatoes, blanched and puree
- 10 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 inch ginger minced
- 1 green chillie minced
- 2 dry red chillies
- 2 tbsp kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves
- 2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
- 2 tsp Tandoori chicken masala
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- salt as per taste
- 100 gms yogurt , at room temp.
- 2 tbsp coconut milk for garnish
- 2 tsp red onion flakes for garnish, optional.
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp nigella seeds
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
- 8 black peppercorns
- 4 green cardamom
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 4 tbsp mustard oil, ,or vegetable oil/rice bran oil. But try and get some organic cold pressed mustard oil if you can.
- 1 lemon , juice of.
- Start by cleaning the chicken well. In a heavy bottomed Dutch oven or Kadhai, add the mustard oil. Once its hot, add the pickling spices and let it splutter.
- Add the dry red chili (broken in the middle), the minced ginger garlic and green chili. Saute for 30 secs. Add the chopped onions and cook on medium low heat till softened, about 5 mins.
- Next add the Tandoori masala, Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric and cook for 3 mins. Add the tomato puree and kasuri methi and cook well till the masala leaves oil at the sides.About 5 mins.
- Next add the chicken to it.Add salt and Mix thoroughly. Let it cook on high for 5 mins undisturbed to seal the meat. This helps in keeping the moisture in the meat. Now add ½ cup water and stir. Reduce flame to low and cook covered for 15 mins.
- Keep stirring once in a while. Add ¼ cup more water if the gravy starts to thicken too much or stick.
- Now, after 20 mins the chicken would be almost done.
- Whisk the yogurt in a separate bowl. Add 1 tbsp of the gravy into the yogurt. Mix it well and add the yogurt gravy mix to the Dutch oven on low heat. Stir immediately and keep mixing till the yogurt is incorporated in the gravy.
- If you follow my instructions the yogurt wont split. Remember to bring the yogurt to normal room temperature before adding it to the gravy.
- Again cover and simmer for 5 more mins or till the chicken is done.
- Rest for 15 mins before serving.
- To serve:
- Add coconut milk, lemon juice, red onion flakes and coriander leaves to the chicken gravy. Serve hot with steamed rice or choice of flatbread.