Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pressure Cooker chicken curry with touch of coconut milk - Zesty Autumn Treat

For Weekend meals,  my family always  crave for some non-veg spicy curry. I had some chicken thighs and breast pieces in refrigerator. For a change, I decided to make chicken curry in pressure cooker. It  cuts down cooking time and brings intense curry flavor. I gave less stress on Garam masala, increased Corriander and cumin proportions, added little coconut milk. This turned out very delicious and therapeutic chicken curry preparation for chilled autumn day.

 Scroll Down to view three autumn pictures.

Ingredients :-
  • 4 chicken Thighs - 2 pounds,cut in medium pieces.
  • 2 small size chicken breasts - 1 pound , Cut in 1 inch cubes.
  • 2 Tb.spoon oil
  • 1 extra large onion - cut length wise
  • 8-9 fresh garlic cloves - finely crushed
  • 2 inch piece of ginger - finely crushed
  • Cilantro chopped - 1 cup (use stem and leaves both)
  • 1/2 Cup coconut milk
Spice Blend
  • 1 Tb.spoon heaped - corriander seeds
  • 1 T.spoon heaped - cumin seeds
  • 1 medium size star anise
  • 2 cardamom
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 inch cinnamon piece
  • Dry Red chilies - I used 1 Guajillo for color + 7-8 Arbol for heat. ( you can use Byadgi chilies for color or in absence of dry red chilies you may use good quality red chili powder)
Combine above whole spices in a small jar of grinder and make fine powder.

Preparation Method :-
  1. I used four chicken thighs and two small size chicken breasts. In each thigh I made 4-5 pieces by keeping bone intact. Since weather was cold, I left some fat on thigh pieces.This will help to get nice red oil layer on curry. I cut breasts  into one inch cubes. Marinated lightly with salt and kept  it aside for half an hour.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in pressure cooker / pressure pan. (minimum 4 quart size) Add onions and saute on medium heat for 7-8 minutes until they turn soft.
  3. Add finely crushed ginger and garlic and mix with onions. Saute for one minute. Now add powdered Masala , save 1 tsp for later stage. Mix well and stir with wooden spoon for 1.5 minutes. It gets dry at this stage so sprinkle 1 tbsp water and stir for one more minute. It is fine if some portion of masala powder gets a bit burnt, it will bring enhanced aroma to the curry.
  4. Add all salt  marinated chicken pieces and combine well with onion Masala base. Reduce heat to low and keep it simmering for 3-4 minutes. Do stir at interval.
  5. Now pour in half cup coconut milk, add some more salt and remaining 1 tsp masala powder. Leave it to simmer at medium low temperature - for about 7-8 minutes. Do keep stirring at interval. Make sure there is enough liquid built up in curry, if required add half cup of water.
  6. Now cover pressure cooker lid and reduce the heat to medium. Wait until it builds enough steam pressure inside. Just allow to blow single whistle and switch off the gas. It is fine if it blows second whistle. Allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes. ( Some times pressure cooker will not release whistle, in that case maintain medium heat and cook for 12-15 minutes  and shut off the gas. In between lift the whistle and release some steam.)
  7. Open the lid and sprinkle finely chopped cilantro and serve this curry with rice or roti.
Self  Note- Recipe posted on 11th January 2011.

Autumn Pictures....


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