Mrs. Solanki’s Chicken Curry photo by Loren Tama

My friend and co-worker, Milan Solanki, upon hearing that I had never cooked Indian curry before, provided this spectacular recipe from his own mother.  Other Indian friends have since bashed the recipe for its authenticity.  I have since learned that, to an Indian, the only truly “authentic” curry recipes are those cooked by one’s own mother.  Here is Mrs. Solanki’s recipe, copied exactly as it was provided to me:

  • 1lb chicken fillet cut into 1inch cubes
  • 3 tblspn olive oil
  • 2 medium size onions sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tspn crushed ginger
  • 1/2 tspn crushed garlic
  • 1or 2 green chillies cut in half length wise
  • 1tspn salt ( or to taste)
  • 1/4 tspn turmeric powder
  • little less than half a can of peeled tomatoes (liquidised)
  • 2 tspn coriander and cumin powder (buy it ready in shops namely dhana-jeera powder)
  • handful of fresh coriander roughly chopped, washed and drained
  • 1 tspn garam masala (readily available in indian shops)
  • 2 tspn lemon juice

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan add the slit chillies, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorn and then add the sliced onions.   Fry the onions until golden brown,

**add the chicken and stir gently for couple of minutes until the chicken is coated completely with the onions and olive oil,  add all the spices upto and including turmeric power and again stir and mix it in to the chicken, add half a cup of water, cover the lid and let it simmer (you can add more water if it looks too dry)  for 15 to 18 minutes add the tomatoes and again let it simmer for 3 minutes then sprinkle the garam masala and mix, add the lemon juice and after a minute take it off the flame add chopped coriander just before serving.

 ** variation for methi (fenugreek leaves) chicken.  add the washed and roughly chopped methi after the onions have browned and before adding the chicken.  Stir fry the methi with the onions for 2minutes then add the chicken and continue as above.

All the above spices can be adjusted according to your taste after making it a couple of times. Also how runny or dryish - add water accordingly.

AuthorLoren Tama