Being an extended Easter holiday here in South Africa today, NOT all of us were on leave, I had to very early, quickly prepare this meal for my kids before heading to work, this is my quick and easy boneless chicken curry with a basic Rice Pilau.
Boneless Chicken Curry
6 large chicken breast cubed, washed and drained
1 medium onions, chopped or diced
2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled, washed & cubed and pre boiled in salted water with a pinch of turmeric, in the microwave, if potatoes are firm until soft (10 min).
Microwave cooking time will vary. Set aside
2 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaf
2 green cardamom (elachi)
1 star anise
Quarter teaspoon fennel seeds (soomph)
A pinch of Cumin (jeera) seeds
1 tablespoon crushed ginger & garlic paste
1 stem curry leaves
2 tablespoon Kashmiri red chilli powder (can adjust if prefer milder )
1 teaspoon turmeric(you can adjust if you prefer a more intense yellow colour)
1 teaspoon gara masala
Coriander (dhania) leaves to garnish
Salt as needed
Oil as needed.
Water as needed
In a pot heat oil on moderate heat.
Braise onions,curry leaves and ALL the whole spices together.
Until onions are soft and slightly turning brown (not burnt)
Add in powdered spices, chopped tomatoes and salt.
Cook until tomatoes are soft and mashed up.
Add in cubed chicken pieces, crushed ginger & garlic paste and boiled cubed potatoes.
Cook until all signs of pinkness in chicken breast is disappeared, if necessary gradually add water.
When chicken is done and a nice thick masala gravy is formed (it must not be too watery).
You will see oil floating to surface. Then switch off heat.
Garnish with coriander
NOTE: Chicken breast cooks quickly so it’s always advisable to pre boil potatoes.
Cooking time: 30 min
Basic Rice Pilau
2 cups of rice washed to remove excess starch
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon stick
4 green cardamom (elachi)
Salt as required
Half teaspoon of turmeric
A pinch of egg yellow powder
Salt as need.
Half cup peas (if you prefer more you can adjust)
1 or 2 tablespoon butter or margarine
Boil washed rice in salted water with turmeric and rest of the whole spices.
When rice is almost cooked (must be soft but still firm) and just before the last 10 min of the end of the cooking time,add in your frozen peas.
Peas need to cook for 5 -7 min whilst the rice is boiling.
Drain in a colander.
Return back to pot or casserole.
Take some margarine or butter and mix into the hot rice. It will melt.
Tint or stain the top layer of the rice with egg yellow.
NOTE: you can alternatively fry onions golden brown in oil. Drain on paper towel and place over the rice.
Serve with Sambals or traditional carrot salad soaked in salt and vinegar.
This entire meal preparation took me an hour!
Prepared, tried and tested by: Sandy Harrod