Friday, May 6, 2011

Chicken Curry with Naan

Indian Curries Special

Tonight's Menu
Chicken Curry
Plain Naan
Wine Pairing: Riesling / Sauvignon Blanc

Chicken Korma and Naan

Chicken Curry, also referred to as Chicken Korma or Chicken Masala is a popular curry from Northern India. The korma sauce is a mild creamy curry sauce with a rich silky flavor. The main ingredients that give this dish a distinctive taste is a blend of yogurt, cream and pureed nuts along with toasted spices.Chicken is slowly cooked in the sauce to infuse the flavor and give it a rich texture. Both chicken and lamb can be cooked in this sauce and for vegetarian option use paneer (Indian cottage cheese) or an assortment of vegetables such as cauliflower, peas, potato.
This dish can be served with naan or rice. These starchy accompaniments absorb the sauce and complement the meal. Other sides can be a mixed salad and papad. Naan is an oven baked flat-bread very popular in the South East Asian cuisine. A typical naan recipe consists of white flour mixed with salt and sugar along with yeast and yogurt to make a soft elastic dough which is kept aside for a little while to allow it to rise. Once risen the dough is divided into balls, flattened and cooked in a Tandoor or Clay oven. Many variations of naan have found their way in the Indian Cuisine, each as popular as the other.

Chicken Korma

Chicken Curry
Ingredients: (serves 4)

2lbs chicken thighs (boneless, skinless) cubed

2-3 tbsp yogurt
1/4 cup almonds and cashews crushed fine
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
chili powder to taste

Whole Spices
2 black cardamoms
4-5 green cardamoms
4-5 cloves
1 large cinnamon stick
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp black peppercorns 

Other ingredients
4 tbsp oil
2 bay leaves
1 large onion chopped
4-5 cloves garlic chopped fine
2inch ginger chopped fine
1 large tomato chopped
1 tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
  1. Marinate the chicken in the marinade for 1-4 hours. 
  2. In a small pan dry roast all the whole spices on high heat for 2 minutes till they impart a roasted aroma. Dry grind them in a coffee grinder coarsely and keep aside. 
  3. In a large pan heat oil and add the coarsely ground whole spices along with bay leaf and stir for 30 seconds. 
  4. Add onions and garlic and cook till the onion turns light brown. 
  5. Add tomato and ginger and cook till tomato softens, for about 2 minutes. 
  6. Now add the chicken along with the marinade and mix it well with the onion concoction. 
  7. Let cook on medium high with the lid on and turn it around every minute so it doesn't overcook at the bottom. Do this for about 5 minutes. 
  8. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook with the lid on for about 12-15 minutes or till the chicken is fully cooked. Check and stir every 3-4 minutes. 
  9. If you find the sauce too thick add a bit of hot water till the desired consistency is achieved. Adjust the seasoning. 
  10. Add the sour cream and mix well. Do not boil after adding the cream. 
  11. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander. 
  12. Serve with naan and salad (red onions, cucumber, lettuce, carrots, tomato).
Plain Naan
Ingredients: (serves 4)

4 cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp oil
¾ warm milk
¾ yogurt
Additional flour for rolling
1 tbsp dry parsley
  1. Take flour and add salt.
  2. Take yeast and sugar in a small bowl  and add a tbsp of warm water (not too hot or it will render the yeast inactive) to it. Let it sit for a few minutes till you see a few bubbles. 
  3. Add this mixture to the flour. Add 1 tsp oil, yogurt and warm milk to make a very soft dough. The dough should not be runny but very soft. 
  4. Cover and keep at room temperature for 2-3 hours to help rise. 
  5. Mix again and using greased palms make small balls out of the entire dough.  
  6. Now roll these balls into naan (see shape in the picture) using dry flour to dredge. Sprinkle a pinch of parsley on top. Press lightly with fingers so that the parsley sticks onto the dough. Place them 3-4 at a time onto a non stick cookie sheet (if not using non stick then grease your sheet well). 
  7. In the oven - Preheat the oven to the max allowable temperature of your oven 475-500°F and keep the baking shelf on the top position. Bake in the top shelf for about 2 minutes or till it browns a little on top (see image). Keep an eye on it as the oven is very hot and can burn easily. Turn the naan and cook again for about a minute. Repeat process till all the balls are cooked. 
  8. On the grill - Preheat the grill and keep heat to a medium high. Place the rolled naans on the grill directly. Cover and allow them to cook till you see the top of naan bubble up. Take a peek at the bottom to see if it has turned to the light golden color you see in the image above. Turn over and cook for a few more minutes till done. 
  9. Brush the tops with butter and serve hot. 

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