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Kashmiri Chicken


Every time I post curry, I seem to get no comments. I spoke with Mandi about this, and we wondered what to do because we both love curry so much and we want you all to love it too! So, last time I made Indian food, I asked people to comment and say their stance on it. I got some interesting replies about liking it but being intimidated about what to order at a restaurant, or wanting to try making it at home but thinking it was too hard to make. I do admit that a lot of the things I make are tough and time consuming, but today I chose a very beginner curry that I want everyone to try and make! Consider it homework. I urge everyone to try this dish and learn that making curries at home isn't all that complicated!!!

For this "beginner" curry, we choose Kashmiri Chicken. "Kashmiri" style curries are a menu staple at your standard British or American curry house. If you aren't familiar with this dish, it is usually overly sweet with a tangy spice and bright red color. The Kashmiri chicken that we made is slightly more authentic based on a lamb dish served in northern India and Kashmir called Rogan Josh. We are convinced that most places use food coloring because all Indian we ever make is a dull brown. No matter though, it tastes and smells delicious. You may eat with your eyes, but I eat with my mouth. The aroma of this pot of chicken bubbling away on your stovetop will be all you need to spark your appetite!

As I said earlier, this is homework to anyone who has desired to make Indian food at home and was nervous to try it! I will try my best to be clear and helpful. I will also answer any questions in the comments. Please let me know if you plan on making it and also let me know how it turned out when you are finished!

WHOA WHOA! Hold on a second! You said simple meal! What are you doing with a coconut??? Don't worry folks, I bought a coconut cause I saw it in the store and it is in the recipe. You can do just as well with a bag of shredded UNSWEETENED coconut, usually found in the baking aisle. Anyway, if you DO decide to use a whole coconut, you need to first drain the water. Do this by making 3 holes in the spots on the coconut where it looks like holes should go! You will see them and know what I am talking about.

We put this water into the curry later.

Doesn't it always look like the coconut is really sad when you drain it like that?

Then you just hit the coconut on the side in a few places and it cracks easily.

Yummy fresh coconut.

Here is the curry paste. It's that easy! Put all this stuff in a blender and pow - curry paste. How much easier could it get? Those are blanched almonds, and like I said, you could use a bag of coconut and wouldn't notice the difference. Just don't tell old coconut or he will cry again. These portions are pretty large, because we had people over. I will give some measurements with the recipe down below.

PRESENTING: The newest member of the Food in my Beard cooking arsenal! Straight off the plane from Sri Lanka! We saw No Reservations in Sri Lanka and everyone was using a stone like this to make curry pastes. We asked our friend Dimitri who was born and raised there what is is called, and he replied that his parents would be visiting Bermuda the next week and would pick us up one!!!!! WHAT?!?!?! It all happened soo fast! And now here it is. We are still getting used to it, and probably made a bit too much volume of paste this night than should be made on a stone this size, but the thing is awesome!  As for the name, there are a few Mexican and Asian/Indian names for it, but for now we are just calling it a curry stone.

The finished paste. If you use a blender, it will be more pasty and less chunky. We would have ground it further, but there were 5 hungry people standing over us waiting for dinner!

A handful of onions sautéing in ghee to start the can use butter and a little oil if you really don't want to make the ghee

Add the paste and cook for 5 minutes.

Some saffron water, the coconut water from before, yogurt, and honey.

In goes the chicken. These are bone in, skin on thighs. You won't be eating the skin, because it isn't crispy or anything. It is there to impart flavor into the curry.

It's nice to have someone else taking the pictures! Here Mandi is stirring in the chicken, and I am washing my hands cause I just touched it.

This is best served with some rice. At Indian restaurants, the rice is usually multicolored. This again seems to be that pesky food coloring!!! We came up with an idea to make it without using food coloring. Make 2 separate batches of rice, one with saffron and maybe some chile powder, and one without. Then mix them together after cooking.

Everyone getting their food. It cooks uncovered at a simmer for about 45 minutes. You don't really have to worry about overcooking bone in skin on thighs though.

We also made some naan that you can see here.

The multi colored rice.

What's so funny?

Very tasty! Now go! Make it!

Kashmiri Curry Paste
½ cup blanched almonds
½ cup Coconut (shredded from a bag, or fresh)
Overflowing Tablespoon of:
-Ginger put through a microplane
-Garlic minced
-Thai red chiles seeded and minced
-Garam Masala - buy or make
And a large teaspoon of nutmeg

Put the coconut and almonds into a dry frying pan and cook until slightly browned. Now add everything to a blender or food processor and blend. Add vegetable oil as needed.

Kashmiri Chicken
½ cup of ghee - buy or make - it's just clarified butter.  You can use butter with a bit of oil if you feel the need to substitute.
Half an onion diced
All of the paste you just made
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons yogurt
Half cup of warm water with a pinch of saffron in it.
About 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Make slits in them so the curry permeates the chicken.

Heat ghee in a pan and add some diced onions
Cook 5 minutes
Add curry paste
Cook 5 minutes
Add saffron water, honey, yogurt
Cook 5 minutes
Taste! Think about the flavors. Do you want it a little sweeter? Add more honey. Creamy? Add more yogurt. Spicy? Add some cayenne. Spiced? Add a bit more garam masala. REMEMBER - the flavors will get more concentrated as it cooks down.
Add the chicken. Stir for a few minutes as it comes to a simmer. Turn heat low. Let it simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes. If it gets too dry, add a little water. Serve with rice(Basmati or Jasmine) and/or naan.


Where's the beers?!

Seriously that looks good though. You guys know your curry... it is all a bit intimidating, but this was a pretty helpful post.

One of these days I'll give this a shot.

This def looks easy to make! I recently started eating Indian and find I like it but have been intimidated to try.. I can make this... once I'm done grad school (4 more weeks) and have time for a 45 min meal to cook.

My husband cooks a lot of indian food (he is not indian, this took some learning) and it is WELL worth the effort. Lots of spices but once we learned what they all were and where to find them, no big deal. Mmmmm curry. Also: Indian food at restaurants does terrible things to my tummy. Bad. Made at home, no problems!

I love the curry stone, that is something I have never seen before. I have a big mortar and pestle made of granite that is great for pesto and pastes.
All your curries use hot peppers, are there any curries which don't? Like, what would this recipe be like, with less/no peppers, or even with sweet peppers. I hesitate to ask, this seems like sacrilege, but my husband hates too-hot food. I suppose I could just try it and let you know, I bet it would still be good.

Just stumbled across your blog yesterday and have to admit that it was the name that drew me in (suppose that was your intention when coming up with it though, right?).

Great photos, great instructions, nice writing-I'm on the halfway point between being intimidated by making Indian food and throwing my whole heart into it and trying to use authentic ingredients and cooking methods.

This post was good and helpful.

Thanks! -Siri

I accept your challenge food in my beard! I will make this tasty looking dish and see how it compares to resturaunt indian food.

Yes sir... but I'll make it veggie.

I am not a fan of Indian food, but that looks good. I really don't like the smell or taste of curry poweder, but there is none of that in this recipe.
Dan, I have to say when you were working on that coconut it looked a little dangerous. Smashed toes, sliced fingers. This should come with a "do not try this at home" warning.

Im making this tonight : )

I made this for friends this weekend and we all loved it. I also made the naan and ghee and none of it was difficult. My previous trepidation about curry is gone and I am ready to try another. Thanks for the inspiration.

I actually love curry, but have yet to make it for myself. It doesn't seem that daunting and I bet the smell is amazing while you're smashing everything together.

I've been eating premade Indian dishes from Trader Joes. I REALLY love them. I bought some bottled yellow curry from TJs yesterday and I'm going cook some tofu and veggies in the sauce and serve it over coconut rice tonight.

I will try and make my own curry with the recipe you've posted. :)

It is simmering on the stove as I type. I used a coconut from next door, and your video and pics made it so easy for me to open, and get the milk out. In spite of growing up in South Florida, I never have used coconut milk, nor even tasted it. The ginger was from my little garden out back. I thought Thai red chili was the long, curly one, so I used that one, but they really did not have anything that said Thai. Anyway, I trusted you, and used a big tablespoon of it. The garam masala I bought, and noticed it had no cinnamon nor bay, so I added those, and grated a nice teaspoon of nutmeg in there. Next time, I will probably make my own spice mix. The coconut and blanched almonds toasted up really nicely.
I am serving this all with basmati rice, cooked in saffron water. One color for the venture tonight. I have to say, it smells pretty good, and I followed the recipe as closely as I could. So, I will post back after supper! These spices are completely foreign to me, and I would never have tried them without you guys writing this blog.

This was completely different from anything I have had, and reminded me more of fruity chicken than curry. It was good, tho, and we ate it right up.
I think when I make it again, I will make my own fresh spice blend, as you suggested.
Also, I will try other curry dishes, with curry powder. I noticed that my Organic Frontier curry powder has all the ingredients of your garam masala, including nutmeg, (but no bay) and also has fenugreek and mustard, so I did not use it. Instead I bought a garam masala blend. I wondered if the fenugreek and mustard might not have been fine in this dish, maybe without the honey. I want to experiment with curries now, that is my final comment, thanks to you, Dan and Mandi. This was a lovely experience.

This is a great recipe! The sauce is rich and flavorful when it has finished simmering and has a variety of texture. I'd recommend letting chicken thighs simmer for a while longer than 45 minutes -- we were eager to eat and pulled them out when they were warm enough inside, but the ones we left in the pot for another hour were much better. Try swapping the red Thai peppers for Serrano peppers for a more mild taste.

Thanks for the recipe!

I'm having a really hard time finding saffron. Where is the best place?


im not sure where you live, but if you live anywhere near a persian or indian market usually you can get large packets of saffron for much cheaper than at the regular grocery store (it can be pretty pricy). if youre not in an area that would have something like that, usually you can find it in your regular grocery store in the spice section. it comes in the same containers as the other spices but inside the jar it is wrapped up in a little white plastic baggy. hope this helps!

I'm not sure where you got this recipe from, and how authentic the source is. The reason I say this is because Kashmiri cuisine would not use coconuts in it simply because coconuts don't grow there :) In any case, the dish looks amazing and just looking at the way you've presented it here is smashing! Amazing blog, one that I'm going to follow from now on.

I've just found this website and so far I like it.
But I have a major concern - safety.
The photo and video show you using potentially dangerous tools - screwdriver, hammer, chopping knife - without any thought as to what might happen if something slips. For example the screwdriver could so easily have gone into your sandalled foot, the chopping knife you used to spilt the coconut could have slid off and slashed your wrist.
So by all means use these implements but please show the audience that they must take safety precautions or they - or you - could end up with a horrible injury.
Anyway, apart from that, I love passanda and I'm going to make it myself now I know how.

Hi, This looks like a big plate of grease... I know traditional indian cuisine can be a bit oily buy man that looks swimming in it.

Oh and by the way Harry, get a life! people like you are turning the world into one big 'nanny state'. "Major concern - safety." .... Mate your making a curry not not absailing into an active volcano...

ps. sorry if i double posted this..

WOW! This looks amazing! Its soo cool! You should start more projects like this! To help the new and the naive ones to restore the tasty food balance!

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