Last December 2013 my hubby had the opportunity to visit India! Of course, he was excited as he'd always wanted to travel to India to see this amazing country, taste his favorite curry and experience its culture. He was invited by a friend to speak and help out in their annual church conference and he readily said yes. Of course, I was excited for him but nonetheless, because he would be absent for 2 weeks, I was kind of scared, too. I told him to make up for it - he'd better bring me home some of India's best spices!!! :)
My dear hero of a husband didn't disappoint. Yes, he literally even risked his life just to bring me home the spices I requested from him. He had to find the bazaar where he could get the spices with no one helping him. He said it was a little scary to be the only foreigner walking along the roads but he felt like he was the explorer who was assigned to bring home the spices from the Orient to her majesty the Queen and that gave him courage....lol. :)
Here's a photo of one of the busy roads he had to pass through to get to the bazaar.
Perhaps he got the spices from this store?
Or maybe this one, perhaps? I wondered how he haggled for the prices or whether he just simply settled. :) Either way, he brought home some saffron, cumin, cinnamon sticks, fennel seeds, garam masala spices and so much more.
Because hubby was so heroic in his deed, I thought I better use the spices he brought home and make him a delicious curry which he often had in England - Rogan Josh. I know, traditionally, this is made from lamb but since chicken is what we often have, I thought I'll make a version using chicken.
I must say, hubby said that this was the best curry I have ever made! He said, it must have something to do with the spices that I used which were directly from India - perhaps so.....I am just glad he loved it and made his experience finding the spices in India all worth it! And, yes, if I may say so - this is one delicious curry! Hope you can try this soon and most of these spices can be found in an Asian stores or perhaps even in your local grocery. Make it soon and don't forget the Basmati rice and some yummy Indian mango chutney to go with it! Yumminess, indeed!
4 Tablespoons Oil
1 large Onion, chopped
10-12 Whole Black Peppercorns
3 Black Cardamom Pods
5 Green Cardamom Pods
5 Whole Cloves
1 Cinnamon Stick
8 pieces, boneless and skinless Chicken thighs, cut up into 3-4 pieces
4 Garlic Cloves, peeled
2-inch Ginger, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Coriander
2 teaspoons Garam Masala
1 Tablespoon Chili powder (adjust to taste) or 1-2 fresh red Chillies, chopped (like Bird's Eye)
3 Plum Tomatoes, chopped then pureed
1/2 cup Yogurt
Salt, to taste
Heat the oil in a large pan using medium heat. Add the chopped onions, peppercorns, cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon stick and cook until the onions have nicely browned, roughly 12-15 minutes. Once the onions are tender and browned, you may wish to pick out and remove the cloves and cardamoms if you don't want to chew on them as you eat or leave them if you are not bothered.
As the onions and spices are cooking, make the garlic and ginger paste in a food processor. Add just enough water to make a smooth paste.
Add the chicken pieces and the garlic-ginger paste to the pan. Cook until the chicken pieces change their color, stirring occasionally.
Add the rest of the spices, pureed tomatoes, yogurt and salt. Mix well. The mixture may appear thick at this point, but as it cooks, more liquid would be produced. Loosely cover the pan and cook until the chicken is tender, another half an hour or so. Uncover and then let it cook some more until some of the liquid evaporates and the sauce has thickened.
Correct the seasoning with some garam masala or salt, to taste. Transfer to a serving dish and then garnish with some chopped Cilantro/Coriander leaves. Serve hot with Basmati rice and mango chutney on the side. Like any curry, this tastes even better the next day. I tell you this is heavenly!!!
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