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 curry.you 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.