Adapted from Blake Royer's "Dinner Tonight" column at Serious Eats; he adapted it from a recipe he found at about.com.
- 2 inches piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut in 2 equal pieces
- 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
- ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 lemon, zest of
- 1⁄2 lemon, juice of
- 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala or 1 teaspoon other curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 10 ounces light cream or 3⁄4 cup plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon flour (only if using yogurt, omit if using cream)
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- Grate 1 piece of ginger into a large zip top bag. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, cilantro, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 tbsp yogurt and 1 tbsp oil. Add the chicken, press out as much air as possible and seal. Set aside (at room temperature) to marinate while proceeding.
- Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over low heat. Roughly chop the remaining piece of ginger and add it to the oil, with the onion. Cook gently 10-15 minutes until well caramelized and almost mushy. Add chili powder, garam masala and turmeric; stir well. Cook 2-3 minutes to bloom and blend the flavors. Season with a generous pinch of salt and scrape mixture into a bowl; set aside.
- Increase heat to medium-high; empty the zip top bag into the skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through but still tender. Return spice mix to pan. If using cream, add it at this point. If not, add flour then yogurt. Stir in tomato paste. Simmer 5 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper or lemon juice if needed. Serve with basmati rice or naan.
Quintessinal. My prep time far exceeded the 20 minutes proposed by the recipe, but the stages made sense, and the end result was WONDERFUL! Personally, I would prep the marinade ingredients in the early afternoon so the chicken could come to room temperature. It took little time to do the remaining prep, so cooking could proceed effortlessly. I would rate this as 1-1/2 alarms (using Wick Fowler's chili rating). I perceived the heat coming from the ginger and the red onion; I couldn't pick out the red chili pepper on its own. Will definitely make this again. Made for October 2013 My Three Chefs.
I have been trying Indian recipes for some time and my Indian bf is never quite satisfied. Not this time! He felt it was authentic (despite the fact that I substituted tofu for chicken). Definitely a keeper! Next time, I might use evaporated milk in place of cream to lighten it up a bit.