Masala Chicken

A warming, spicy chicken dish – a beautiful go-to when you want something comforting

The recent change in the weather has left me feeling a little out of sorts and although I usually take it easy on days like that – I still want good food and nourishment.  This Masala Chicken really hits the spot.  Not only is it loaded with ginger, garlic, turmeric – all with their own health benefits, the heat from the chillies definitely cleared up my head and sinuses, and the flavours are amazing – the cardamom, cinnamon and all the different spices make it a go to when you need a good pick me up.  The yoghurt was just to give it an additional shot of tangy creaminess and luxury– it’s optional.  Even if you don’t eat the chicken pieces and just have the gravy you are doing yourself a favour.

I had asked my husband to pick up a chicken with bone as the stock from it would have given the dish that added nourishment and flavour, but as usual he wasn’t listening and I had to make it with chicken fillets! I used a stock cube to give it the extra flavour I was looking for – where there’s a will there’s a way!  This recipe will feed 6 people with enough left over for a light lunch for 2. 

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Ingredients – in order of appearance

2 tbsp oil or ghee

2 black cardamom

7 green cardamom

2 inch cinnamon stick

2 medium onions finely diced

2 heaped tbsp garlic paste – from 6-7 cloves

2 heaped tbsp ginger paste – from 3 inch ginger

2 tsp turmeric

1 400g plum tomatoes – pureed with 8 green chillies (use to your own taste)

1 heaped tsp salt (to your taste)

1 heaped tsp kashmiri chilli

1 heaped tsp coriander powder

1 heaped tsp cumin powder

1 heaped tbsp of dried fenugreek leaves

4 medium chicken fillets washed, cleaned and cut into cubes

Third of a cup of natural yoghurt

1 chicken stock cube

Half a litre of boiled water

1 heaped tsp of garam masala

Method

  1. Warm the oil/ghee in a heavy based pan on a medium heat and toss in the cardamom and cinnamon
  2. Add the diced onion and sauté until they go brown in colour
  3. Once they have turned brown add your garlic and ginger paste
  4. Once you get the aroma from the garlic add the turmeric and sauté further for a couple of minutes
  5. Now add the blended tomato and chilli mix and cook on a medium heat, until the oil rises to the surface or the mixture begins to thicken and come away from the sides of the pan
  6. Add all your powdered spices and salt, rub the fenugreek between your palms to release its pungent flavours before adding to the pan
  7. Add the chicken pieces and make sure all pieces are coated thoroughly, and slowly fold in the yoghurt to prevent it from curdling
  8. Melt the stock cube in half a litre of boiled water and add to the pan – stir thoroughly then lower the heat and cover and cook for 20 minutes
  9. After 20 minutes sprinkle on the garam masala and add more water if you want a runnier gravy

Cover and cook for a further 10 minutes – serve with rice or roti