Mama Roy's Daughter's Chicken Curry

Mama Roy's Daughter's Chicken Curry created by Jonathan Melendez

The hardest part about moving out on your own is missing your mom's home cooking. In college, I was a short 2-hour drive away, so it was easy to get in my car, zone out to some choice tunes, and then BAM - I was in my parents' driveway. Now I'm a 3.5 hour flight away and as great as my job is, I'm not making that hop-on-a-plane-any-random-weekend money. Any Bengali household you visit will have some version of this curry and everyone thinks their own mom's version is the best. I still haven't been able to recreate this exactly the way my mother makes it; my mother always gives me the basics when I ask her, but forgets to mention the little additions she has made throughout the years. It may never taste exactly like her cooking, but whenever I make this, I am reminded of the times I hovered over her shoulder, trying to figure it all out, and having her shoo me away because I slowed her down.

Ready In:
1hr 10mins
Serves:
Units:

ingredients

directions

  • 1) Peel and cut up onions into 6-8 pieces each (something that will fit into a food processor or a blender). Peel garlic and ginger.
  • 2)Put onions, garlic, and ginger into food processor or blender with a spoon of water. Blend/grate into a rough paste. Does not need to be super smooth.
  • 3) Prep the chicken - take skins off if you bought chicken with the skin on. Rinse the chicken with water and pat dry. Create slits in the pieces randomly with a knife so that the spices can get into the meat.
  • 4) Take about 4 spoons of the onion, garlic, ginger paste and the spices (Indian chili powder, turmeric, cumin) and coat the chicken with it all. Add the salt as well. NOTE RE SPICES: we never measure these spices, but ratios help. For this part of the recipe, smaller amounts of each chili powder, cumin, and turmeric are fine - let's say one spoon of each, more of the chili powder if you want it spicy.
  • 5) Place a 6-8 quart pot on medium-high heat. Add a turn or two of canola oil, enough to evenly coat the bottom of the pot. When the oil is heated through, add cloves, cardamom (try to open them up a bit), and cinnamon bark. Stir the whole spices around a little until fragrant.
  • 6) Once you start smelling the whole spices, add the rest of your onion/garlic/ginger paste. Cook until the paste starts to take on a slightly reddish color. Add larger amounts of the spices now. I will do two generous shakes of the chili powder (I like my curries spicy), one shake of ground cumin, and one shake of turmeric. If it looks too brown, I will add some turmeric and chili powder because I want it to be a little brighter.
  • 7) Add the chicken after the paste and spices incorporate. Stir frequently so the chicken does not stick to the pot. Once all the chicken turns opaque on the outside, cover with a lid, lower the heat to medium and let everything cook together for about 20 minutes.
  • 8) After 20 minutes, check the pot to see if any liquid has come out. This is the curry! If it looks dry, add some a couple cups of hot water to the pot, but only if it looks totally dry. Stir the chicken and recover the pot, lower the heat a little more, and let it all simmer/stew together for another 20 minutes.
  • 9) 15 minutes into the second 20 minutes, add the Thai chilies. Make sure they are washed. If you want more of the heat to come out of the chilies, make one diagonal slit in each chili. Adding the chilies is optional.
  • 10) At the end of the 20 minutes, check your pot. There should be ample curry. Give it all a final stir and check the chicken to make sure it is all cooked through. It should be by now, but you can never be too careful! Have some cooked rice handy and serve with some saag bhaji (another recipe!). This recipe is easy to scale up or down and if you have leftovers, you can eat this up to 4 days after you make it, at least.
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RECIPE MADE WITH LOVE BY

@Soma R.
Contributor
@Soma R.
Contributor
"The hardest part about moving out on your own is missing your mom's home cooking. In college, I was a short 2-hour drive away, so it was easy to get in my car, zone out to some choice tunes, and then BAM - I was in my parents' driveway. Now I'm a 3.5 hour flight away and as great as my job is, I'm not making that hop-on-a-plane-any-random-weekend money. Any Bengali household you visit will have some version of this curry and everyone thinks their own mom's version is the best. I still haven't been able to recreate this exactly the way my mother makes it; my mother always gives me the basics when I ask her, but forgets to mention the little additions she has made throughout the years. It may never taste exactly like her cooking, but whenever I make this, I am reminded of the times I hovered over her shoulder, trying to figure it all out, and having her shoo me away because I slowed her down."
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  1. Bonniejs
    I'm not sure if I'm missing it but I don't see where it says to add the tomatoes
    Replies 1
  2. Jonathan Melendez
    Mama Roy's Daughter's Chicken Curry Created by Jonathan Melendez
    Reply
  3. Jonathan Melendez
    Mama Roy's Daughter's Chicken Curry Created by Jonathan Melendez
    Reply
  4. Jonathan Melendez
    Mama Roy's Daughter's Chicken Curry Created by Jonathan Melendez
    Reply
  5. Soma R.
    Mama Roy's Daughter's Chicken Curry Created by Soma R.
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