It’s a cold, dark winter night, and you need something for dinner. But you don’t have much time, hardly any energy, to cook a feast. What if I told you that you could have an easy, comforting, and delicious curry on the table in just about 30 minutes?
If I have your attention now, then let me tell you how to get started. This chicken and potato curry is packed with flavor from toasted whole spices. The sauce, made of onion, garlic, and canned whole peeled tomatoes, is then enriched with a few ground spice blends. When making a curry sauce like this, it’s best to add the powdered spices once the onions and tomatoes are cooked well, as they don’t need roasting or cooking too much, so they don’t over-bloom or brn.
This all makes a perfect sauce in which small cubes of potatoes and boneless, skinless chicken cook gently. It’s finished with a splash of cream and a handful of chopped cilantro, making it intensely fragrant and deeply divine.
Once you’ve got the format down pat, try using other vegetables, like carrots or cauliflower, and different meats, like ground lamb or beef. The possibilities are endless. However you make it, be sure to serve the curry with rice or your favorite kind of flatbread to soak up all the sauce. —Chetna Makan
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil (or any neutral oil that can stand high heat)
- 4 whole cardamom pods
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced or grated
- 1 large (400g) can of whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon chile powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 pound (450g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces
- 1 large russet potato, skin kept on and cut into 1/2-inch (1.2-cm) pieces
- 1/2 cup (115ml) water
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 cup (10g) fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- Heat the oil in a pan and add the cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf to it. Let these sizzle for few seconds before adding the cumin seeds. This will allow the spices to release their flavors.
- Once the spices start to sizzle and become a bit fragrant, add the onions to the pan and cook them on medium heat for 10 minutes, until nicely golden. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute. The key is to get a lovely deep golden color on the onions for the depth in the curry.
- Now add the can of tomatoes, cover, and cook for another 10 minutes, letting the tomatoes soften. Add in all the ground spices and cook for a minute. Throw in the potatoes and chicken with the water, and cover and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, until the chicken and potatoes have cooked through.
- Add the cream and coriander to the curry, mix well, and serve hot with cooked rice or flatbread (like chapati, naan, or paratha).