Home-Style Chicken Masala (Indian-Spiced Chicken Stew)

It’s no secret that I love Indian food.  Love may even be an understatement.  Truthfully, I am obsessed with the cuisine!

This is a very simple recipe, really.  It doesn’t take long to throw together, and is quite forgiving.  You can toss in any stray veggies laying around in your refrigerator, and substitute the chicken with any protein you desire (mushrooms are an excellent vegetarian option!).

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Ingredients:

  • 6-8 chicken thighs (I used boneless/skinless)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 large red onion- diced
  • 1 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 3 tsp. ground garam masala
  • 2 tsp. ground corriander
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground chili powder (more or less, depending on how spicy it is.  Mine is quite spicy.)
  • 2 large roma tomatoes- diced
  • 2 tsp. plain yogurt- whisked
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. salt–or to taste
  • about 2 c. vegetables- whatever you have on hand
  • chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water- as needed to thin the curry
Directions:
  • Using one large pot with a tight fitting lid, heat oil over medium-high heat and add 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds. Once they begin to pop, add the diced onions and fry until the pieces become translucent.
  • Add the ginger and garlic pastes.  Keep stirring.
  • Add all the quantities of ground spices, and the bay leaf.  Keep frying.  The mixture should be quite dry and begin to stick to the bottom of the pan.  About three minutes.
  • Add the chicken to the pan and cook on high-heat for about 5 minutes, until the chicken has fully browned.  Add any vegetables you are using at this point.
  • Turn the heat back to medium-high and add the tomatoes to the pot.  Add about 1 cup of chicken stock (or water) and simmer until the tomatoes have cooked down.  Add the whisked yogurt.  Stir it all together and then bring the mixture to a fierce boil.
  • Put the lid on the pot, turn the heat to medium and simmer for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours–checking and stirring every 30 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust the salt-level.  Add additional chicken stock if the curry has become to thick.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and serve with rice.
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