Chicken Curry – the Pakistani Way
Who doesn’t love a curry? And the more authentic the better. My friend Fadia, whose family is originally from Pakistan, taught me how to make this smooth sauce.
I’m not saying this is truly authentic, but it certainly tastes good, and can be used with chicken, lamb, or a mixture of vegetables. It can be frozen, either just as the sauce or with the meat, so it’s very practical to have as a family-meal standby. You can even throw cooked meat into the sauce and use up the Christmas Turkey leftovers.
This is always popular with children, maybe because it’s faintly sweet. My own adore it, and visiting kids, even those who aren’t keen on spicy food, also wolf it down. It isn’t hot, you can keep the spice level as low as you like it by using a bit less of the chilli powder. I give the recipe to make your own curry spice mixture, which I like because I just love a lot of turmeric, but it is pretty much as good if you use a ready mixed curry powder instead of all the different ground spices.
Serves 4. Timings – 30 minutes preparation, 30 minutes simmering
Make the sauce: In a heavy saucepan, fry the onions, chilli, garlic and ginger until softened. Add the fennel seeds, stir and cook. Mix the powdered spices in a glass with a little water to a soft paste, then add to the pan. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes to let the flavours mature.
Scrape the whole lot into the bowl of a liquidiser and add the other sauce ingredients to the liquidiser, including the fresh coriander if using. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper, taste the seasoning, adjust and blend again.
At this stage, you can freeze the sauce, or put it in a bowl in the fridge and keep it until needed. You can use it with chicken, or paneer, or a mix of fried vegetables.
Fry the chicken meat in the pan you used to make the sauce – you might need to do this in two batches to allow the meat to brown rather than release all the juices and just stew in juice. When all the meat has been lightly browned, add the sauce back in.
Cook for about 30 minutes, simmering. It is actually better if left to cool down and heated up again, so I often make this on a Saturday morning, and then leave it to be eaten that evening. It keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days, so you can make it on Saturday and leave it in the fridge for Tuesday.
Serve with rice, naan, a cucumber/mint relish and a tomato/onion relish.
A Hug from the Kitchen
Healthy, hearty, happy food, for good times and bad. Cheer yourself up, or spread the cheer around your family and friends.