mortar and pestle or spice grinder
cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven with lid
1 pound of chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
2 medium yellow onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
3 tbsp fresh ginger, diced
4 red chilis
2 tspn brown sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
for spice mix:
1/2 tspn cardamom, ground
1 tspn cinnamon, ground
1 tspn coriander powder
1 tspn turmeric powder
1/2 tspn peppercorns
1/2 tspn toasted fenugreek seeds
1 tspn cloves
1 tbsp cumin
4 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tspn mustard seeds
Salt to taste
- In a small bowl, dissolve the brown sugar in the vinegar. Add the chilis, diced garlic, and ginger to the vinegar mixture and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes.
- Add the vinegar mixture to a food processor. Pulse the mixture to form a paste.
- Pour the paste into an air-tight container and then add the pieces of chicken to the paste. Stir the chicken so that all of the pieces are well coated with the paste. Seal the container and then refrigerate for 2 hours.
- While the chicken marinates, construct the dry spice mix. Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind the peppercorns, fenugreek seeds, cloves, and cumin into powder. Pour this powder into a small bowl along with the cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, and turmeric. Mix well and set aside.
- In a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and mustard seeds over medium heat.
- When the seeds begin to pop, add the diced onion and cook until the onion begins to turn golden brown.
- Add the chicken and the paste/marinade to the skillet and cook until the chicken begins to brown.
- Add the dry spice mixture to the chicken and place a lid on the skillet. Reduce heat to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the mixture becomes thick. Stir the mixture occasionally.
- Serve hot over steamed Basmati rice with cilantro garnish.