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 cloves
  • 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 onions
    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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Leopoldoni
1st Apr, 2015
5.05
One of the best recipes on this site, and I've tried lots of them! Goes perfectly with this sag aloo http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2063642/sag-aloo
biti88
27th May, 2014
5.05
Great recipe. Will be making again for sure. I was reluctant to brown the meat too much but this definitely adds to the flavour. Works with chicken drumsticks too!
mc1nnty
10th Apr, 2014
3.8
i thoroughly enjoyed this dish very tasty ,the meat stayed nice and tender ! after i sealed and browned the chicken of tho i transferred everything into a casserole dish and put in the oven for 40 minutes ,next time im going to do it with fat free greek yoghurt to be healthy (you have to try ) :) and also make the yoghurt the night before to infuse the flavours and save time as alot goes into preparing this dish :)
mary01jam
15th Jul, 2017
What temp did you cook at in the oven? I'm just making mine ahead of time, and want to cook it in oven, then reheat later in the oven too
Bentleybird
18th Feb, 2014
Lovely flavours but my sauce split and was very oily, does anyone have a solution please
Bentleybird
18th Feb, 2014
Lovely flavours, but my sauce split and was very oily, does anyone have a solution please?
kerryannb
20th May, 2013
5.05
Lovely! Really fresh favours, a nice change from tomato based Indian recipes
juliemilner
13th May, 2013
Very tasty, quite different to other curries I've made. It does take quite a while for the yoghurt mix to blend in so that's maybe why the other user thought it looked a bit green, i thought the same but once it has reduced down it looks fine but it does take some time. Wasn't sure about the raw chilli/ginger mix but it does enhance the flavour. Will definitely make it again.
kisahmelati
10th Apr, 2013
5.05
Fab dish!
sarahf82
15th Dec, 2012
5.05
This was so delicious! I made it again and made the ginger/chilli/yoghurt mix the night before and it really speeded things up. It's really worth making the garnish too. My husband keeps asking me to make this again.

Pages

shinobidef
27th Oct, 2014
I can't get hold of any fresh coriander where I am and don't have a blender. Do you think the recipe would still work without?
Bentleybird
18th Feb, 2014
My sauce split and was very oily, does anyone have a solution please
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
28th Feb, 2014
Hi there, thanks for getting in touch and sorry to hear the sauce wasn't quite right. It sounds like you may have used low fat yogurt, full fat shouldn’t split when cooked. Try using a little less oil next time too. 
Bentleybird
18th Feb, 2014
My sauce split and was very oily, has anyone else had this problem, and anyone got a solution please
kaybadwal
4th Dec, 2013
I added a teaspoon of garam masala and a little turmeric to the yogurt mix, for extra flavour, delicious!