Indian spice box chicken

Indian spice box chicken

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(54 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins - 30 mins Cook: 1 hr - 1 hr, 10 mins

Easy

Serves 4
Serve this exquisitely flavoured chicken dish with mounds of fluffy rice

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal706
  • fat53g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs8g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre1g
  • protein50g
  • salt0.67g
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Ingredients

  • 50g fat green mild chilli (about 3 large ones)
    Chillies

    Chilli

    chill-ee

    Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…

  • 3 large garlic clove
  • 5cm piece of fresh root ginger
  • a bunch of fresh coriander
  • 200g carton of full-fat Greek yogurt
    yogurt

    Yogurt

    yog-ert

    Yogurt is made by adding a number of types of harmless bacteria to milk, causing it to ferment.…

  • 2 medium onion
    Onion

    Onion

    un-yun

    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 8 medium bone-in chicken thighs (total weight about 800g-1kg/1lb 12oz-2lb 4oz)
  • 2 tbsp groundnut or corn oil
  • 2 tsp fennel seed
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell seeds

    A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    Cumin

    Cumin

    q-min

    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • a good knob of butter
    Butter

    Butter

    butt-err

    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • Chilli-ginger garnish, to serve (see below)

Method

  1. Make the Chilli-ginger garnish (see right), before you start the chicken.

  2. Cut down the length of the green chillies, then remove the seeds by scraping them out with a teaspoon. You may want to wear rubber gloves for this job - fiery seeds can give the fingers a real chilli sting. Cut off the stalk ends, chop the chillies into rough pieces and put them in a blender or food processor. Peel and roughly chop the garlic and add to the chillies. Do the same with the ginger.

  3. Pick the leaves off the coriander and drop them into the blender as you go (reserve the stems for the garnish). Tip in the yogurt and blitz everything to a puree. This can take a few minutes and you may have to stop the blender a few times to scrape all the gunge down from the sides - a rubber spatula will make this job much easier.

  4. Peel, halve and thinly slice the onions. Pull the skin off the chicken, using kitchen paper to help you get a good grip. Heat the oil in a saute pan over a medium heat until hot - when you drop in a spice seed or two it should sizzle. Toss in the fennel and cumin seeds and let them crackle and pop for 10-20 seconds, stirring all the time so they don't burn. They're ready when you get a lovely whiff of warm nuts. If the oil starts to smoke, remove pan from the heat.

  5. Plop in the butter and let it melt, then throw in the sliced onions and turn the heat down a tad. Stir to mix the onions and spice seeds, then cook for about 10 minutes until the onions are meltingly soft and tinged golden brown. Give them a vigorous stir now and then, but don't stir them too often or they won't take on any colour.

  6. Push the onions to one side of the pan, then add the chicken thighs, smooth side down. Increase the heat to between medium and high and fry the chicken until it's golden brown on both sides. This should take about 15-20 minutes and you will need to turn the pieces over halfway (a pair of tongs are good for this). Watch carefully in case the onions start to brown too much - if they do, pile them up on top of the chicken.

  7. Stir in some of the yogurt mixture and cook until it disappears - repeat a dollop at a time. Whizz 150ml/¼ pint cold water in the blender to use the last bits of the mixture and add to the pan with a pinch of salt. Stir until bubbling, scraping up any crispy bits. Reduce the heat to its lowest and cover the pan tightly. Simmer for 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is tender when pierced, stirring and turning halfway and adding a splash of hot water if the sauce is too dry. Serve sprinkled with finely chopped coriander stems and a little chilli garnish (put the rest in a bowl on the table).

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Comments, questions and tips

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lizzypolly
14th Nov, 2012
would like to say muppet 123 mine is luminous green aswell but tastes great lol xxx
jul34es's picture
jul34es
31st Oct, 2012
5.05
had this tonight for tea and it was very tasty and easy to do.
frozenpixie
28th Jul, 2012
5.05
Incredibly tasty! I was told by my mother that it was one of the best meals she had ever eaten. If that is not an endorsement, I don't know what is!
rachelulu
6th Jul, 2012
3.05
I thought this was ok...it had a nice heat to it but tasted like a not-quite-finished Thai green curry. A little bit disappointing for the effort that went in.
kathrynv
3rd Jun, 2012
3.05
Not sure what went wrong, but I found this didn't really taste of much at all. It smelt lovely, but it just seemed a bit flavourless. Perhaps my spices were a bit old......On the plus side, garnish was great, and the whole thing was very easy to do. Think I will try it again some time with freshly bought spices, see if that helps.
jenbags
13th Apr, 2012
4.05
Great tasting curry. Used chicken breast instead of thighs and they dried out a bit too much- should have taken it out while seeds were softening. Garnish tasted lovely. Used just 1tsp of fennel seeds as I don't like aniseed too much and that was fine. Will definitely make again with thighs or maybe fish.
irenemorrill
28th Feb, 2012
5.05
Fabulous, full of flavour and simple to make, I will definately be repeating this!!!!
lorz45
20th Feb, 2012
Made this over the weekend and it was absolutely delicious! Made with 0% fat greek yoghurt and was still good!
boistizon
18th Feb, 2012
5.05
Brilliant easy to cook delightful to eat, we like heat so I did not bother de-seeding the chilli - left overnight the flavours mellowed and it was a lovely dish with just the right amount of bite. Do the garnish, it really is worth it!
aaylett
18th Feb, 2012
5.05
I made this exactly as the recipe instructs and it was delicious, really fresh tasting and with just the right amount of spiciness for us. The relish on the side is a great addition as you can add more or less and really does lift the taste. Will definitely make this again.

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