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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nicka470
17th Feb, 2012
5.05
The result is absolutely great! It just turned out as expected. I tried comparing it with Turkey Chili that I got from gourmetrecipe.com. Surprisingly, I can't figure out which one tastes better.
wynistheking
22nd Jan, 2012
4.05
I used this recipe with the greens as suggested. It was fine but it had quite a strong taste of coriander. If your using both recipes I would be careful about how much coriander you put in. I think I might try it with sag aloo next time.
pegohart1
18th Sep, 2011
5.05
so easy and so tasty!
jude_mccarthy
17th Sep, 2011
Absolutely delicious, easy to make and really zingy.
Rowena Wilkes's picture
Rowena Wilkes
5th Sep, 2011
5.05
Yummmmmy! Reallg great. I was a bit dubious about the garnish but it really added to it and wasnt too spicy, which I thought it would be. Sadly my children weren't very keen but I will definately be making it again for myself and my other-half. The kids can have beans on toast!!
jennifera
4th Sep, 2011
4.05
This is a very tasty recipe and since discovering it earlier in the year I have made it many times. I have used green or red chillies, reducing the amount, as I cannot eat very spicy food. I use chicken breast cut into pieces reducing the first frying time and the final cooking time and the final result is very good.
bethanw
1st Sep, 2011
5.05
This was GORGEOUS - so nice I am making it again a week later! Definitely worth making the garnish to go on top just gave it that extra something.
sircrouton
24th Jul, 2011
5.05
Don't skip the garnish, it really adds to the flavour!
disneygirl
7th Jul, 2011
5.05
just so good. didn't use 3 chillies tho as thought it would possibly be a tad too hot for me. Used 2 instead and it was perfect. Normally I use pataks pastes in my curries so was a bit dubious as to whether this was going to be very tasty, but the flavour was just wonderful. did not waste my time picking off the coriander leaves one by one and just lobbed a whole load in at once. very yummy and will be doing again and again.
sharishari
20th Jun, 2011
4.05
I didn't like this when I first made it, but the next day I ate the left overs and obviously the spices had time to infuse and it was lovely. So would recommend making a day ahead!

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