Whether you have enjoyed it in a South Asian restaurant, or grown-up eating it in a desi household, chicken curry is the ultimate comfort food and a wholesome dish that the whole family will enjoy.
A classic chicken curry dish can be created with only straightforward ingredients and a few seasonings and spices such as salt, turmeric and chilli powder, however, throwing in a few of the optional spices too will definitely take the flavour and aroma of the curry to the next level.
You can eat chicken curry as a dry dish or add more water to the ingredients to cook it into a soupy dish known as shorba, which is exceptionally delicious when served on a steaming hot plate of boiled rice.
Here is a simple yet authentic Pakistani recipe for a traditional chicken curry, Murghi ka Salan. This recipe has been passed down through generations and it uses exciting spices that will cook up a wholesome meal that is sure to tantalise your taste buds!
800g Boneless chicken (cut into small pieces) you can also use chicken with bones such as drumsticks and thighs for this recipe
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
10 Fenugreek Seeds
1 inch Cassia bark or cinnamon stick
1 Whole green chilli
1 tbsp Cooking oil (Such as olive or sunflower)
2 Medium-sized onions (finely chopped)
1 tsp Garlic (crushed into a paste)
1 tsp Ginger (crushed into a paste)
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt (or cooking salt)
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
3 Tomatoes (peeled and chopped) half a tin of chopped tomatoes can also be used
1 Green capsicum (sliced)
1 Red capsicum (sliced)
Garam Masala powder for seasoning
Chopped fresh coriander leaves
1. Heat the saucepan or pressure cooker and gently toast the cumin seeds and cassia bark until aromatic, ensuring not to overcook them as this will impair the flavour.
2. Add the oil, whole green chilli, and finely sliced onions to the pan and sauté until the onions start to turn golden brown.
3. Add the ginger and garlic paste and continue to sauté until golden brown and fragrant.
4. Add the chopped tomatoes along with the salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder, and ¼ cup of water then cover with the lid. Using just tinned tomatoes or adding a teaspoon of tomato puree along with the fresh tomatoes will give your curry sauce a redder colour and a richer flavour. Lower the heat and allow the tomatoes to cook until they can be softened into a paste.
5. Add the chicken and stir fry it in the sauce until partially cooked and then cover with the lid. If using a saucepan, you can add a cup of water to avoid burning the sauce, with a pressure cooker you may not need it.
6. After the chicken simmers for about 20 minutes (or less in a pressure cooker), ensure that the chicken is cooked through, and tender, then add the capsicums just before removing from the heat, to maintain their crunchy texture.
7. Garnish with the freshly chopped coriander and a sprinkle of garam masala.
This traditional chicken curry can be served with naan bread, chapatti, or basmati rice, and goes great with a salad.
If you enjoyed the above recipes, check out more of our Pakistani recipes such as:
Aaloo Paratha - A pan-fried flatbread with a spicy potato stuffing.
Red Lentil Curry - A super easy to make, yet substantial recipe for a Punjabi style red split lentil curry; known as Masoor dhal.
Meat Curry - A homemade meat curry recipe which is suitable for lamb, mutton or beef.
Channa Masala - A popular vegetarian-friendly curry made with chickpeas, that is enjoyed in both Pakistan and throughout the Indian subcontinent.
Kashmiri Kidney Bean Curry - A classic dish from Kashmir, known as Rajma, made with kidney beans cooked in a yoghurt sauce.