How many times do you take a bite of a dish that immediately transports you to a beautiful memory of times gone by? I love food that reminds me of my childhood or makes me nostalgic about events. This Assamese style chicken curry does this the best!
An Assamese chicken curry is simple, earthy and full of flavor. Having grown up in an Assamese household myself, I have never seen any spice being bought from the market. Everything is ground or pounded fresh at home, mostly just before making any dish.
How to make perfect chicken curry – A few tips
Making chicken curry is not a herculean task. Just a few factors learned and remembered right, and you can have a delicious bowl of it every now and then. No matter what kind of chicken curry you are making, just keep the following points in mind.
Always pat the chicken pieces dry before making them. You can do this with a paper towel. If your raw chicken has water dripping from it, the curry will not be its best version.
- Always fry onions well before adding ginger-garlic paste and the rest of the spices. Onions should be fried till they turn golden brown and start to melt before adding spices and chicken.
- Add a little sugar to the onions while cooking them. This not only helps onions caramelize faster but also lends a wonderful brown color to the gravy.
- Add the tomato after the chicken pieces. This helps them cook faster.
- Fry (bhuno) the chicken into the masala for at least ten to twelve minutes before adding water.
- For best results, always use chicken with bones. Half the flavour lies in the bones.
Why do we use potatoes?
Assamese people love their potatoes and we put them in almost every dish. We couple potatoes with vegetables, meat, egg curries and varied kinds of fish. This chicken curry also has potatoes in it which is cooked along with the chicken. Adding potatoes actually gives them a whole new flavor, making them sweet as you bite into them once done.
The benefit of adding potatoes to chicken is that you know if the potato is cooked, the chicken is cooked too. My father taught me this technique. Quite a handy kitchen tip, right?
Why this chicken curry?
- Delicious and super easy!
- Healthy and quick
- Simplest of ingredients which are probably already lying in your pantry.
- A one pot meal, where you need to throw everything in a singular vessel.
- Filling and a beautifully comforting meal with rice or roti.
Most people would have different versions of this Assamese chicken curry. Mine is a simple one, using less oil and water as a base of the gravy. I also believe Indian curries taste best when cooked with mustard oil, which is what I always use. So here’s the quick recipe for my favorite Assamese chicken curry. I hope you try it 🙂
Preparation time – 20 minutes
Cook time – 30-40 minutes
Serves – 2-3
- 500 g chicken
- 4 tbsp mustard oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 large onions, finely chopped
- 2 green chilies, slit in half
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, fresh
- 2 medium potatoes, cut in 4 large cubes each
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh garam masala
- 500 ml of water
- Chopped coriander leaves for garnish
- Salt to taste
- Heat mustard oil in a kadhai till it comes to its smoking point.
- Add the bay leaves, followed by the chopped onions.
- Saute the onions for about two minutes till they turn translucent. Add the slit green chilies to it.
- Once the onions turn brown, add the fresh ginger garlic paste to it. Saute it till the raw aroma of the ginger and garlic disappears.
- Since we have cut the potatoes in big chunks, they will take some time to cook through. Add the to the kadhai at this point. I also fry the potatoes a bit so that it has its own taste in the final gravy.
- Season the onion mix with salt, turmeric, cumin powder and black pepper powder. For best taste, make sure all these spices have been freshly ground.
- Let the spices assimilate with the onions, add the chicken pieces. Fry everything together in medium flame for about another minute till it all comes together. If the masala gets stuck to the bottom of the kadhai, add a dash of water so that it does not burn.
- While the chicken is cooking along with the rest of the spices and potatoes, add the chopped tomatoes. The reason why I am adding tomatoes at this stage is so that the there is more water from the tomato that the chicken can use to cook in.
- Check when the tomato melts and completely harmonizes with the rest of the curry. It is at this time when you need to add the water, and cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes till the chicken becomes perfectly soft.
- Take off the lid, check the salt and if the chicken and potatoes are cooked through. Get your desired consistency. I like mine in a semi gravy.
- Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with plain rice, roti or pulao.
I hope you try out this delicious and easy chicken curry. Let me know what you think! And stay connected 🙂 Here’s the video for this recipe: