A reader in Tucson just wrote that she’d read EVERY MOTHER IS A DAUGHTER (Ballantine 2006), an autobiographical book I co-authored with my daughter, Perri, and she longed to make the curried chicken recipe I’d learned in India that my family so loved. I sent her the recipe and I offer it here.
3 lbs. chicken pieces 1 tsp. ground cumin
3 medium onions 1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
4 cloves garlic 1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 small piece of ginger, diced 3 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tbs. butter 1 tsp.. chili powder
2 tbs. fresh sage 4 large tomatoes
1 tsp. ground coriander 2 tbs yogurt
Wash chicken, pat dry and set aside. Mince onions, garlic and ginger together. Heat the butter in a large saucepan and fry the onion mixture gently together for a few minutes. Add herbs, turmeric, curry powder, salt and chili powder. Stir well and allow to sizzle briefly. Add chicken and fry for several minutes. Then cover pan with a tight lid and cook gently for 1 1/2 hours, adding a little hot water if the chicken gets too dry. After that, add sliced tomatoes and yogurt. Stir well and allow curry to simmer for another 20 minutes. If there’s too much gravy leave lid off for the last 20 minutes of cooking.
Note: Ground coriander and cumin seeds add fragrance and flavor. Add more or less according to taste.