Recipe: Easy Indian Chicken Yogurt Curry

Oct 26, 2014 by     2 Comments    Posted under: Easy Recipes, Main Course Recipes, Recipes
Easy Indian Chicken Yogurt Curry Bowl

Easy Indian Chicken Yogurt Curry Bowl

I love Indian cuisine.  It is some of the most robustly delicious food in the world.  The complexity of flavors used in Indian cuisine are unlike most others.  I’ve eaten some Indian dishes which literally shut me down to the point of not being able to process anything around me except for the delicious food orgasm which was taking place in my mouth.  It was the most memorable food experience of my life.

The only issue with Indian cuisine is that there are many variations of even the most basic of dishes.  But that is also part of what I love.  You can order the same dish at 50 different restaurants and experience something different each time.  These nuances of flavor differences come from the use of different spices, or different quantities of the same spices.  Every blend of spice powders and pastes is different, which makes for an always changing palate experience.  This can make recreating the perfect Indian dish at home a challenge at best.

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with different Indian dishes at home.  I’ve made several different Biryanis, some takes on Tandoori Chicken, some basic spice grilled seafood dishes, and some different curries.  Most are surprisingly fairly easy to make, but I had to stock my spice cabinet with all sorts of odd but wonderful things in order to make them.  So I started thinking, could I recreate the flavors of some of India’s most popular dishes while vastly simplifying the cooking process and the amount of ingredients I needed to purchase?   A shopping trip to my local Indian grocery and spice store and a few experimental cooking bouts at home provide a resounding “yes” to that question.

I was successfully able to reduce 20 ingredients down to just 2 little jars of love.  Madras Curry Paste and Ginger Pickle.

Madras Curry Paste and Ginger Pickle

Madras Curry Paste and Ginger Pickle

The Madras Curry Paste includes the standards of curry powder, turmeric, chili, cloves, ginger, cumin, coriander, anise, cinnamon, allspice, and garlic, and is blended together with some oil to keep it nice and pungent.  This stuff is great on its own with chicken, fish, lamb, shrimp, or vegetables.  But I was looking for a deeper flavor profile in my quick and easy curry.  That is where the Ginger Pickle came into play.  It is filled with fresh ginger, jaggery (cane sugar), salt, chili powder, fenugreek powder, mustard seeds, chilies, turmeric powder, and asafoetida (a funky little dried gum from an herb grown all over India which departs a flavor similar to onions and garlic when cooked), all blended together with a little oil into a cool mashy paste.  20 delicious Indian staples down to just 2 ingredients.  Excellent!

The only issue was that the resulting curry was so potent I couldn’t really eat it.  So I took some clues from Chicken Tikka Masala and other dishes I’ve eaten at numerous Indian restaurants and added tomatoes, yogurt, garbanzo beans, and peas.  The result was a slightly tangy, deeply flavored, bright orange curry that only took about 30 minutes to make.  Awesome!

Easy Indian Chicken Yogurt Curry

Easy Indian Chicken Yogurt Curry

Ingredients to Make Simple Indian Curry at Home

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1/2 large onion, halved and thinly sliced or chopped
  • 16 ounces plain unsweetened yogurt, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 14.5 ounce can tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons Madras Curry Paste
  • 2 tablespoons Indian Ginger Pickle
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, or to taste
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped cilantro for garnish
  • basmati rice for serving

How to Make a Fast, Easy, Flavorful Indian Curry at Home

Start by cooking some basmati rice for serving.  You’ll want at least 4 cups of cooked rice for serving.  As the rice is cooking, prepare and cook the curry as follows:

Cube the chicken breasts into 1-inch, or bite-sized, cubes.

Cube Chicken

Cube Chicken

Heat oil over medium heat in a large saute pan or a good sized pot.  Brown the chicken on all sides, seasoning with salt and pepper, and then remove from the pan and set aside.  The chicken shouldn’t be cooked all the way through, just browned on the outside.

Brown the Chicken

Brown the Chicken

Remove Chicken and Set Aside

Remove Chicken and Set Aside

Add the onions to the same pan and cook until starting to brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Saute the Onions

Saute the Onions

Add the canned tomatoes with their juice to the onions, then add the curry paste, ginger pickle, cardamom, and brown sugar, and stir to combine. (I know, this picture looks like some kind of practical joke left on someone’s doorstep, but trust me, the flavors are exquisite.)

Add Tomatoes and Curry Paste

Add Tomatoes and Curry Paste

Add the garbanzo beans and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes (curry should be boiling).

Add Chickpeas to Curry

Add Chickpeas to Curry

Add the chicken and yogurt.  Stir to combine and allow to cook uncovered for 10 minutes, adding the peas during the last 2 minutes of cooking time.

Add Chicken into Curry

Add Chicken into Curry

Add Yogurt to Curry

Add Yogurt to Curry

Season to taste with salt, pepper, and brown sugar, then serve over basmati rice with a dollop of plain yogurt (optional) and some chopped cilantro for garnish.

Serves 4

Recipe by Jothan Yeager, October 2014

 

The Bald Gourmet enjoys simple and delicious Indian curry at home using 2 readily accessible Indian spice pastes.

 

Recipe: Easy Indian Chicken Yogurt Curry
 
Cook time

Total time

 

This quick and easy Indian curry recipe gets robust flavor from 2 spice pastes rather than 20 different Indian ingredients. Yogurt adds a smooth creamy tartness, while chicken, garbanzo beans, and peas add substance. Fast, simple, healthy and delicious!
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • ½ large onion, halved and thinly sliced or chopped
  • 16 ounces plain unsweetened yogurt, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 14 ounce can tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons Madras Curry Paste
  • 2 tablespoons Indian Ginger Pickle
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, or to taste
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • ½ cup peas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped cilantro for garnish
  • basmati rice for serving

Instructions
  1. Start by cooking some basmati rice for serving. You’ll want at least 4 cups of cooked rice for serving. As the rice is cooking, prepare and cook the curry as follows:
  2. Cube the chicken breasts into 1-inch, or bite-sized, cubes.
  3. Heat oil over medium heat in a large saute pan or a good sized pot. Brown the chicken on all sides, seasoning with salt and pepper, and then remove from the pan and set aside. The chicken shouldn’t be cooked all the way through, just browned on the outside.
  4. Add the onions to the same pan and cook until starting to brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the canned tomatoes with their juice to the onions, then add the curry paste, ginger pickle, cardamom, and brown sugar, and stir to combine.
  6. Add the garbanzo beans and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes (curry should be boiling).
  7. Add the chicken and yogurt. Stir to combine and allow to cook uncovered for 10 minutes, adding the peas during the last 2 minutes of cooking time.
  8. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and brown sugar, then serve over basmati rice with a dollop of plain yogurt (optional) and some chopped cilantro for garnish.

2 Comments + Add Comment

  • This recipe looks like a keeper. Is the ginger pickle the same, as the stuff you get with your sushi?
    I finally found a Whole foods that makes Mergueza sausage after checking several branches. Here is my review. Dartagnan’s version blows them out of the water. The Dartagnan sausage is firmly packed and has better flavor. The Whole Foods was loosely made and ran fat. It was not bad but the Dartagnan is much better. Dartagnan’s andouille sausage switched me over from my previous brand, Aidells. Dartagnan also makes tasso if you decide to do shrimp and grits. I downloaded a good recipe if you are interested.
    Keep cookin’
    Jeff

    • Hi Jeff. Good question on the ginger pickle. It is NOT the same as pickled ginger at Japanese sushi joints. Indian ginger pickle is a blend of ginger, spices, and other ingredients. It is actually a condiment, but I use it as part of a curry base blend in this recipe. You should be able to find it at any Indian grocery store (or Asian store with an Indian section).

      As for the Dartagnan Mergueza, I’m going to have to get my hands on some of that. Sounds pretty exceptional.

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I'm Jothan Yeager and I am The Bald Gourmet. After years of experimenting in my kitchen, creating delicious food and eating at amazing places around the world, I wanted a place to share my experiences with everyone. Thus the Bald Gourmet was born. I hope to open the doors of great food and great cooking to you, to inspire you to reach beyond prepared boxed meals, and to teach you of a world of deliciousness that has brought joy to me and those around me. Please enjoy the adventure which is The Bald Gourmet and share it with those you love.