Home cook Ruchi Motial-Suri chose to share her Indian Chicken Curry and Red Cabbage Stir Fry recipe because it’s a ‘classic, healthy Indian dish that anyone could make’. I love the way Ruchi breaks down the curry making process into simple steps by explaining exactly what is going on in the cooking. Here are some of her helpful asides I couldn’t fit into the video.
Ruchi prefers to use chicken thigh fillets because they keep the moisture better than chicken breast. She also prefers to use paprika instead of hotter varieties of chilli because paprika brings out the spices and flavours much better. Obviously you can use hot chillies instead if you like.
The Asafoetida powder Ruchi adds to the cabbage was a new one on me. ‘Good for digestion’ is a nice way of saying it helps a lot with ‘windy’ ingredients such as beans, lentils, cabbage etc. You can buy it at your local Indian grocery or spice shop.
In India, the type of curry base you use depends on what region you’re from. The onion/ginger/garlic paste used as the base in this curry to thicken the sauce is used in North Indian cooking. You could add tomato as well. You could also use coconut milk, which is predominantly used in South Indian cooking. It’s all up to your personal preference.
And in true Indian style the best way to eat this divine chicken curry is with your fingers.
- FOR CHICKEN CURRY:
- 2 medium onions
- 1-2 tablespoons of roughly chopped ginger
- 6 cloves of garlic
- Olive oil
- Whole spices: 2.5cm cinnamon stick broken up, 5 pieces of cloves, 5 pods green cardamom, 1tsp cumin, 2 bay leaves
- 1kg chicken thigh fillets, roughly chopped
- Ground spices: paprika to taste, 2tsp coriander powder, 1tsp cumin powder, 1tsp salt
- FOR RED CABBAGE STIR FRY:
- ½ red cabbage
- 1 clove garlic
- Olive oil
- Spice mix: 1tsp Asafoetida powder, 1tsp mustard seeds, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp coriander powder
- FOR CHICKEN CURRY: Roughly chop the onions and add to a food processor with the ginger and garlic. Grind them to a fine paste.
- Heat a pot on the stove and add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then add the whole spices, with the cumin going in first. As it starts to crackle in the hot oil, tip in the rest of the whole spices. Give it a bit of a stir. What that does is release the flavours. It's important that the oil is hot.
- When the spices are crackling add the onion/ginger/garlic paste. Turn the heat down to low and keep stirring so the paste doesn't stick to the pot. It's cooked when it starts to turn a pinkish colour and leaves a bit of water.
- Add the chicken and turn the heat back up to high for a few minutes. When the meat is nearly sealed turn the heat down and leave for a while to prepare the red cabbage.
- FOR THE RED CABBAGE STIR FRY: Finely chop the cabbage.
- Crush and chop the garlic.
- **Check on the cooking chicken. The aim is to keep it on medium heat until the juices evaporate.**
- For the red cabbage, heat another pan and add ½ tablespoon of olive oil.
- Add the Asafoetida powder. Cook for a few seconds then add the mustard seeds. Wait to hear them crackle.
- When they're crackling add the salt, then the coriander powder.
- Finally, add the red cabbage along with the crushed garlic. Stir for a few minutes and it's done.
- BACK TO THE CHICKEN CURRY: Now that the liquid is evaporating you should see the oil separating from the chicken. That's where you want to add the ground spices.
- Add the red paprika first to the separating oil and when that is cooked through add the rest of the ground spices. Give it a good stir.
- Now add enough water to submerge the chicken. Stir and turn the heat back to high to bring to the boil.
- As it comes to the boil, put the lid on the pot, turn the heat down to low and leave it to simmer for about 15min.
- And you're done.
- Serve the chicken curry and red cabbage with Basmati rice or any Indian bread.