Here is the most basic of all Indian recipes to cook a tasty chicken curry that can come out well even in a beginner’s kitchen. The traditional ingredients, especially the whole spices when cooked with the chicken enhance its flavour and the typical onion – tomato gravy offers a finger-licking experience.
In a non-stick pan, heat the oil. Add the whole spices - cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. As they fry, they lend their special aroma to the gravy.
Add the grated onion after squeezing out their excess water. This helps in browning them faster. Saute them by stirring continuously till they are nicely browned. If you need more oil, add it at this point. Spend considerable time to make them a nice brown. Now add ginger garlic paste and mix well.
Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. To avoid these dry powders from burning, you may add a little bit of water. Saute the mixture for a minute.
Now put the pureed tomatoes. The colour of the curry will now become a tempting red colour. The Kashmiri red chilly powder will give a good bright red colour. Add salt now so that the tomatoes cook faster. Let the curry cook well now by stirring intermittently. Once the oil separates, the tomatoes are done.
Add the chicken and mix well. Add a little more salt and some coriander leaves. Don’t add water at this point as the chicken will also leave the water. Wait for the chicken to get cooked. As it cooks, it will leave its own juice and impart a thick feel to the curry.
Add garam masala and mix well. Cook for some time. At this point, If you need, add warm water so that the chicken remains soft. Cover and cook for at least 20 minutes or till the chicken is cooked well. Do not use cold water, as it makes the chicken pieces more rubbery and chewy. Check the consistency of the curry and add more water if needed. Bring it to a boil and put the gas off.
Add fresh coriander leaves for garnishing. Chicken curry is now ready to serve. Serve hot with rotis, parathas or steamed rice.