Nothing says desi more than fingers dripping with curry! Allow me to bless your kitchen with my coveted chicken curry recipe. In the most traditional sense, you call this Boneless Handi. Handi is vessel (usually terracotta) in which this dish is traditionally cooked. But trust me when I say this, your favorite restaurant is not cooking their famous Boneless Handi in an actual Handi. I cook all my curries in a stainless steel saucepan or wok and absolutely love the curries that come out of those vessels.
I have already covered the basics of how to determine when the curry is done in my Chicken Karahi post. For me, the key to the most flavorful curry lies in 1) yogurt 2) red juicy tomatoes and 3) continuous stirring towards the end until the masala releases that orange-tinted oil. If you do not see the oil glossing the surface, your curry is not done. Let it continue cooking on medium to low heat. This recipe itself is not a huge departure from my Chicken Karahi recipe. Both require yogurt and both require a whole lotta stirring. However, in my Boneless Handi, I create the curry base prior to adding in the chicken. This is also the technique that is traditionally used to make Boneless Handi.
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 5-6 cloves whole
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 4-5 tomatoes make sure they are red and ripe
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 garam masala
- 3/4 tsp red chilli powder spicy red chilli or cayenne
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 green chili slit lengthwise
- 1 lb chicken thighs boneless, skinless and cut into medium-sized chunks
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 4-5 cardamom pods cracked open
- 1/2 green bell pepper chopped into small chunks
- In a wok or saucepan, add oil.
- Add cumin seeds and cloves and let them crackle and sizzle on medium heat, about 30 seconds
- Next, add onions and fry on high heat for 5 minutes until the onion gets crisp and brown around the edges.
- Next, add chopped tomatoes and continue frying on medium to high heat for 10 minutes. Halfway through add 1/3 cup water to help the tomatoes break down.
- After 10 minutes, tomatoes and onions will begin to resemble gravy. Stir vigorously and press down your spatula to mush up the tomatoes if there are any visible big chunks.
- Next, add spices: coriander powder, turmeric, garam masala, red chilli powder and salt and stir well.*
- Add in cilantro and green chillis and continue to stir
- Next, throw in chicken and stir until spices coat the chicken pieces.
- Add in ginger and garlic paste, and stir.
- Next, add yogurt and stir well into the chicken and continue stirring until chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
- Next, add cardamom pods and stir.
- Cover with lid and let the chicken cook for 35 minutes on medium heat. Stir every once in a while.
- After 25 minutes of cooking time, remove the lid and add in the chopped bell pepper. The curry should have released its oil. This is key to ensure that the curry is done.
- Cover the pan with a lid and let the curry simmer for the remaining 10 minutes on very low heat.
- Serve hot with fresh naan!