I remember being on a work trip during my consulting days, when I first tried this dish in Kolkata, and I was bowled over. The simplicity of the flavours, mildness of spices, mixed with the freshness of coriander just made this dish stand out. And just like that on a rainy Sydney evening, I found myself craving for that familiar taste of curry, mild but flavourful from all the beautiful spices. Curry is my comfort food. The smells of spices simmering away with the meat, tend to give a depth of flavour to the dish which instantly transports me back to my mother’s kitchen, and how she smelled of cloves and cinnamon after cooking. Food and nostalgia are so intertwined together! I saw the movie ‘A 100 foot Journey’ the other day, and it had a simple line which just rings so true for everyone; Food is memories. It’s magical how certain tastes and aromas transport you back to a happy place!
Enough reminiscing, now back to the task on hand. So this curry is really simple to make and is ready in an hour or so, depending of course on the quality of your chicken. The flavour of this recipe comes from fresh coriander and it requires a lot of it. At least 1 big bunch. It’s mildly spicy but if you are want a hotter curry just increase the number of green chillies in paste, alternatively, omit the chillies if you want a milder curry. I used mustard oil for cooking this curry as it gave it a more earthy flavour, but you can use regular vegetable oil as well. I don’t know how close to a traditional bengali ‘dhoniya patta chicken’ this is, but this is my version of it which turned out pretty delicious. This curry goes well with tandoori rotis, naan, or, steamed rice.
Coriander Chicken Curry Recipe
- Ingredients: 500gm Chicken thigh pieces or drumsticks skinless
- 2tbsp Mustard Oil or Vegetable Oil
- 1 large Onion finely chopped
- I bunch of Coriander chopped
- 1 large Tomato chopped
- 2-4 Green Chillies (use as per spice levels)
- 2-3tbsp Yogurt
- 2tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
- 4-5 green cardamom
- 1 cinnamon stick lightly broken into pieces
- 2 Bay leaf
- 2 Dried Red Chillies (optional)
- 1tsp Cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp Coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1tsp Red Chilli powder
- 1tsp Garam masala powder
- 2tbsp Coriander powder
- Salt to taste
- Few Coriander leaves for garnish
- Marinate the chicken with yogurt, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, 1tsp garam masala powder, and salt, for at least 2 hours before cooking. Overnight if possible.
- Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pot and add the bay leaf, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon stick, green cardamoms, and dried red chillies.When they start sputtering, add the chopped onions. Sauté until the onions are a golden brown and start leaving oil on the sides.
- Add the dried masalas of red chilli powder and coriander powder to the onion and sauté for 2mins.
- Add the marinated chicken to the mix , cook on a high flame until brown all over. This should take 5-7minutes. Reduce the heat and cook the chicken for a further 15mins until almost cooked.
- Meanwhile blend the tomato, chopped coriander, and green chillies in a blender. Add the blended tomato coriander mix to the chicken. Add 1 cup water to it and cook it uncovered until it comes to a boiling point.
- Reduce the heat to a medium flame, cover, and let the curry simmer until the chicken is cooked through and is tender. Around 30-40mins. Taste check for salt and the gravy consistency you are after. Add more water is you like a thinner curry.
- Garnish with coriander leaves on top, and a dollop of unsalted butter if you like, and serve. Goes well with rotis, naans, or steamed rice.