Pakistani Style Chicken Curry with Rice

We all have that one cookbook on our shelf that scares us. We bought it because we wanted to be cool. To have the challenging cookbook that looks pretty on our shelf. For our friends to, you know, admire, when they come over. But, admit it, you're intimidated by this book. Every recipe calls for a thousand ingredients, many of which require a trip to a specialty store to procure. You open this cookbook every week or two. Glance through the pages. Say "oh, that looks good!" then scan down to the ingredients and realize, well, a special trip to India Sweets and Spices just isn't on the agenda.

Stop doing that.

Be bold. Make this recipe!

This recipe, for most people at least, will probably require a trip to the specialty market. This recipe will take about an hour to make. You will sweat (from the heat). You may cry (from the onions). You will definitely smell like ginger and garlic afterward, but you will glow with the pride of knowing you took on a serious culinary challenge.

Recipe and test of will after the jump...


Pakistani Style Curry Chicken with Rice

Adapted from Curry Cuisine

Serves 4

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 legs)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil + 1 tablespoon
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced to a paste in a mortar and pestle
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, minced to a paste in a mortar and pestle
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup Greek style yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground dry coriander
  • 3 large black cardamom seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 large carrots, large chopped
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

You will use one large saucepan for this entire recipe, so start with your largest one, enough to fit all of the chicken later on.

Heat the large saucepan over medium heat with the oil, add the diced onions and cook until dark golden brown, stirring regularly, scraping the bottom of the pan as you do so. This will take anyway from 20 - 35 minutes depending on the size of your dice and level of heat.

While the onions cook, prepare the rest of your ingredients. Rough chop the garlic and (peeled) ginger and grind in a mortar and pestle together and set aside. To peel the tomatoes, slice a cross in the top of each tomato and place in boiling water for about 1 minute, then remove to an ice bath. The skins should peel off easily.

Once very brown, remove the onions from the pan and place in a food processor. Pulse until mixture it very fine. Set aside.

In the same large pan, add the additional tablespoon of oil and maintain the medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and cook in the oil for a few minutes to remove the "raw" flavor. Next, add the minced tomatoes and yogurt. Cook for 5 - 6 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the browned onion mixture from your food processor, then the spices and salt to taste.

Cook this mixture, stirring regularly, until the oil cooks out a little, about 6 - 7 minutes.

Add the chicken pieces and carrots and cover them with the sauce thoroughly. Add 1-2 cups water, just enough so most of the chicken in submerged. Cover the pan and reduce heat to low, leaving it to simmer for 20 - 30 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked. Finish with the chopped fresh cilantro.

Serve with basmati rice fluffed with a little more fresh cilantro.