Nov 2, 2009

Peppery Chicken Curry


I bought a new cookbook. Pure India. I’m not sure if it’s sold in the US as well. It’s rare for me to buy a cook book—I prefer coming up with my own recipes—but with Indian food being pretty far outside my comfort zone, I figured I was better off starting with tried and true recipes.

The first thing I noticed was the sheer amount of onions used in Indian food. There are absolutely loads! Why didn’t anyone tell me this earlier? Gross neglect, guys! The second thing was the simplicity of the food photography. The same simple white bowl is used over and over again, only the background color changes. And then it hit me; the food looks so utterly delicious and colorful, it just doesn’t need props or any other type of adornment. That’s when I got really curious.

I tried this recipe and fell madly, passionately and head over heels in love with it. I did tweak it a little—can’t help myself, I’m a compulsive recipe tweaker.



1 pound chicken fillet
2 tsp black pepper (freshly grinded)
thumb-size piece of ginger
1/2 a tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1/3 lemon 
5 tbsp oil
3 medium onions
3 garlic cloves
1 cup water



The original recipe called for a cut up fryer. I opted for chicken fillets that I cut up in coarse pieces.


Grate or mash 3 medium sized garlic cloves and put them in a bowl.


Peel and grate a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger and add it to the garlic. Grating ginger is by far the best method for me, you don’t get those annoying stringy bits and it gets really mashed.


Add the salt, turmeric and 1 tsp black pepper. Squeeze in some lemon juice, about 1/3 of a lemon should do. Add 1 tbsp oil.


Combine all ingredients and there’s your marinade. Looks wicked, doesn’t it? Be careful not to spill any on your clothes, though.


Place the chicken pieces in a baking tray with non-poroush surface and mix them with the marinade. Now seriously, trust me when I say you don’t want to do this with your bare hands. Unless you want to walk around looking like a partial Oompa Loompa for the weeks to come.


Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and let it marinade for at least 2 hours.


>>Fast forward to 3 hours later<<


I’m using 3 medium-sized onions for this.


I coarsely cut up 2 onions and transfer them to my blender bowl where I use my immersion blender to puree them. You can also use your regular blender for this.


Cry me a river. Here’s what you’ll be needing to wipe the mascara off your chin. Unless you’re a man of course. But men use make up as well these days. I’m not sure how I’d feel about a man spending more time in the bathroom than I do. Or having to hide my expensive eye shadows from him. Hmmm.



Peel the other onion, cut it in half and slice it in rings. Or in quartered slices, as I like to do.


Heat 4 tbsp high heat cooking oil, such as peanut oil, and add 1 tsp pepper to the oil. Stir-fry the pepper for about 30 seconds. This smells fabulous. Add the onion slices and cook until the onion is soft.


Then add the onion puree and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.


Add your chicken pieces, combine everything and cook for another 5 minutes.


Pour in a cup of water, stir well and bring everything to a boil. Lower the heat and let the chicken simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt to taste.


This was so good! It was a spicy dish but not in a real ‘fire shooting from your eyeballs’ kind of way. It was very flavorful and fragrant with a wonderful kick. You’re supposed to serve this with Naan bread, but we opted for rice and steamed green beans. I’m sorry, India, I just need my veggies.


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    1. 1

      Hmm… I read blogs on a similar topic, but i never visited your blog. I added it to favorites and i’ll be your constant reader.

      Crasty on Nov 2, 2009 @ 7:50 am Reply
    2. 2

      This looks delicious, Kay. The opening photo really draws you in. You are an amazing photographer and cook!

      Erica on Nov 2, 2009 @ 8:38 am Reply
    3. 3

      This looks like another winner! I love Indian food but get really bored with chicken tikka masala so I’ll definitely be trying this.

      Maria on Nov 2, 2009 @ 8:40 am Reply
    4. 4

      Looks Fabulous! Congrats..m sure India would be proud of you! :))

      zurin on Nov 2, 2009 @ 10:02 am Reply
    5. 5

      WOW Kay, that looks YUM. I totally need a new curry recipe to try out. I’m thinking of this weekend!

      LizzieBee on Nov 2, 2009 @ 12:17 pm Reply
    6. 6

      I have been wanting to try an Indian recipe … I may give it a whirl~ I so love your photography AND your recipe cards – they are the best!

      Jacqueline Strawder on Nov 2, 2009 @ 12:29 pm Reply
    7. 7

      Kay, cant tell you how honoured I am that you visited my blog – I am huge fan of your blog and your photography ! I have made your egg salad many times over…I do hope you find the ingredients you need for the aloo gobi …let me know if you try it…

      Arch on Nov 2, 2009 @ 12:44 pm Reply
    8. 8


      One of the benefits of having a food blog is that via the comments I sometimes end up in the most amazing food blogs :)

      I’m gonna try to assemble everything I need and will let you know!

      Kay on Nov 2, 2009 @ 12:47 pm Reply
    9. 9

      Try using the edge of a spoon to scrape off the skin of the ginger. You don’t lose any of the “meat” that way. It’s a Martha Stewart trick.

      Diane on Nov 2, 2009 @ 2:46 pm Reply
    10. 10


      Normally I keep these in the freezer, and that way you can even scrape off a thinner amount of skin, plut it’s even easier to grate. But I was in a hurry.

      Kay on Nov 2, 2009 @ 2:48 pm Reply
    11. 11

      I adore curry, saffron, and turmeric is my latest someone put it “the poor man’s saffron”. This looks like one my family would love as well. The problem with cooking is that I would eat a vastly larger array of food than my hubby or two teenage daughters. I have to cook around them. And HURRAY for recipe card! I love those; thanks!

      Trish in MO on Nov 2, 2009 @ 2:50 pm Reply
    12. 12

      Would you believe that I have never had Indian food? I always thought it was very hot and highly spicy. This just sounds delicious, not too spicy, and the combination of flavors…wow!

      Lana on Nov 2, 2009 @ 3:41 pm Reply
    13. 13

      That looks like heaven!

      Sharon H. on Nov 2, 2009 @ 4:38 pm Reply
    14. 14

      Looks delicious and easy. Gonna try this out. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

      Teresa on Nov 2, 2009 @ 5:36 pm Reply
    15. 15

      You always post the most appetizing recipes!

      Jean on Nov 2, 2009 @ 6:02 pm Reply
    16. 16

      Oh goodness, this looks so good! Good job on the photography.

      Sue on Nov 2, 2009 @ 6:16 pm Reply
    17. 17

      Lovely! An Indian friend of ours gave us about 100 vegetarian, Indian recipes and everything I have made so far was incredibly yummy. The only thing I did was double the spices, for some reason it didn’t ask for as many spices as I would like.

      One big advice I give you for Indian food: Get some Ghee and use it instead of oil. It’s much, much tastier. It makes the food so creamy! You can get it at the Natuurwinkel.

      I just made butter after your recipe – and Oh My God!

      Ali on Nov 2, 2009 @ 6:19 pm Reply
    18. 18

      This looks fantastic. And who doesn’t love ridiculous amounts of onions?! I may have to try this…TONIGHT!!

      Jule on Nov 2, 2009 @ 6:39 pm Reply
    19. 19

      Thank You Kay!
      i have noticed that you are quite inclined towards Indian way of cooking, you add beauty to a tasty dish.
      hope to see more!

      f.sarah on Nov 2, 2009 @ 6:58 pm Reply
    20. 20

      You know Kay that more than half of the Indian population is vegetarian ! you can find lot of cool veggie recipes and health lentil recipes. My favorite Indian chef is sanjeev kapoor, his recipes are sure shot!
      Love your recipes as well, waiting for some recipes using that delish caramel you made.

      Preeti on Nov 2, 2009 @ 8:07 pm Reply
    21. 21

      I’ve never tried chicken curry. Crazy, I know. I think I must try this recipe though!

      Karly on Nov 2, 2009 @ 8:18 pm Reply
    22. 22

      Hello Kay,

      What is the Dutch word for Turmeric, is it Koenjit? I have some Koenjit here at home, but it’s a lot darker than on your photos.

      Jaimé on Nov 2, 2009 @ 10:19 pm Reply
    23. 23


      It’s indeed Koenjit, with Koenjit being the Indonesian name. Generally it’s called Kurkuma here. The color varies depending on where you buy it. If you buy those tiny Conimex bottles, for instance, it’ll be a different color than when you buy it ‘fresh’ on the market. Flavors are pretty much the same.

      Kay on Nov 2, 2009 @ 10:31 pm Reply
    24. 24

      YUM YUM!!!!! I’ve been looking for a great new Indian cookbook!

      Kristacular on Nov 3, 2009 @ 1:23 am Reply
    25. 25

      I’m the same way about Indian cooking, definitely out of my comfort zone and yet it’s something I want to do more of. This sounds like a wonderful dish.

      Kalyn on Nov 3, 2009 @ 10:10 am Reply

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