The late Tony’s Chicken Curry – The BEST !! He knew how to make a real mean curry !! Here it is finally and it is drop dead Delish!!

Aah! Come home to this on a cold winter’s night and you will eat the whole pot!!

Serves: 6 – 8

Note: Tony would often make this with lamb knuckles. To economize you may use lamb, mutton or beef. For lamb or mutton a combination of knuckles, rib, neck or chump chops may be used – Any fatty stewing beef will also be great for this curry.

I have made this a medium hot curry. Tony always made a hot curry and added 1 – 2 tablespoons of good Masala curry powder. He always added 1 very large tomato. The red colour comes out from the red chili powders. Tony would add an equal amount of cumin to fennel seeds but I always increased the fennel seeds a slight bit to get more a hint of the fennel coming through but not to overpower the cumin, so it really depends on the balance you prefer. If you don’t like a burning hot curry then, as I have done, in this recipe just increase the tomatoes. I wouldn’t suggest you go more than what I’ve used as it might spoil the curry.

To increase the red colour of your curry you may: Increase tomatoes, red chili powder and may also add a whole steamed pureed sweet red pepper at the end.

Take all your seeds and put them on dinner plate is what I do and heat them on high in microwave just until they release their aromas and feel hot to the touch. What ever you do, do not walk away! Watch them that they do not scorch. Giving them a few seconds, bursts at a time. Star aniseeds burn very quickly so remove those before they burn or scorch! Cool and then grind to powder in coffee grinder. I add up to just over half and the rest I add to further boost flavour toward end once curry is almost ready.

 

I don’t add oil Chicken is fatty enough. I add 125 ml water together with chicken placed fat side (skin side) facing down and simmer away to allow chicken to release its own fats followed by adding onion garlic ginger puree (whizz together, metal blade on in food processor) together with turmeric, curry powder, just over half the ground spices and lastly followed by adding the tomatoe/s.

 

Important Note:

  If you are using your own curry powder or bought masala blend (curry powder) like a wet masala or a Bombay Mix (See last pic) or any other of your favourite blends, leave out the chillies  & or cayenne peppers as this will add the heat required. If you find you need extra heat you may add a split red or green chili. Which ever of the 2 you prefer.

 

Ingredients: 

1.736kg (7 thighs) Chicken thighs or any other joints you prefer. He usually used a “fowl” in those days.

36 g garlic, fresh peeled weight

36 g ginger, fresh peeled weight

3 – 4  (650 g-760 g) onions, medium size, chopped (mine:760 g whole weight.Chopped weight: 650g )

1.012kg peeled potatoes (10 medium size) or may use up to same weight in peeled potatoes as to washed and drained chicken

2 g (3 star aniseed), whole

1 Rolled cinnamon or you may substitute with 2 g cassia sticks if out of rolled cinnamon

2.5ml cayenne pepper plus an extra 1/4 tsp (may also replace fresh chillies if out of fresh) Add only to taste. The heat intensifies while it cooks.

30-60 ml turmeric powder

60 ml Wet masala or 30 – 60 ml Bombay or chicken masala or curry powder. Whichever you prefer. If unavailable use 18 g whole chillies (I used 5 chillies) for medium hot.

304 g tomatoes, whole (unpeeled)

1 very large sweet red pepper if you like a red colour (optional). Throw them whole into freezer-Keeps fresh but just goes soft once defrosted

5 whole cardamom pods (remove from pods & grind together with cinnamon roll, allspice & other seeds in coffee grinder)

5 whole allspice berries

5 green, black or mixed peppercorns

3 cloves

1 medium lemon or juice to taste together with pulp but NO seeds please! (Optional) Any left over vinegar from pickles is very good in curry!

4 g (7.5 ml) coriander seeds

4 g (7.5 ml) cumin seeds

Salt and a pinch sugar to taste – only if needed

12 g (22.5ml) fennel seeds (May sub with aniseed if out of fennel)

30 ml curry leaves (I used dried) As much as a you like or up to a small handful of fresh curry leaves or use 2-3 bay leaves if have non

518 g – 800 g rice, uncooked weight (100 g rice per serving)

 

Tony would pound the garlic & ginger together with coriander seeds and salt into a paste. I use to use the flat back-end of wooden handle of a braai hook to do this in pot before adding all the ingredients but today I just use the food processor which is way quicker.

 

The chickens have changed and take as long as the potatoes to cook now and the chickens are so much fattier now than they were way back then. Today I add all the ingredients into a 5 liter heavy bottomed pot or an electric wok excluding the cardamom, cinnamon and allspice berries which get added toward the end before serving to preserve their flavour.

 

Method:

You may before you begin, place all your seeds on a dinner plate in microwave for a couple of seconds or dry roast them in pan over gentle heat, just to heat them and release their aromas. Do not burn. Cool and grind in a coffee grinder depending on how you like your curry sauce. This does not make much of a difference. It is the freshness of the spices that count.

 

1. Do this in the old-fashioned way by pounding garlic, ginger and spices in a mortar or in the bottom of pot you are going to be using with a bit of salt into a paste. Today I just pop the garlic and ginger into food processor together with onions and whizz it to a puree.

2. put all your seeds, excluding “(a) cardamom, allspice and roll of cinnamon” into coffee grinder after roasting them on dinner plate in microwave for a few seconds until hot & steaming. Do NOT scorch! Put garlic and ginger on the bottom of food processor together and roughly chopped onions on top and chop with metal blade on. I puree it all into an onion garlic ginger puree or paste.

3. Grind all your seeds in a coffee grinder to a powder, excluding (a) “cardamom, allspice berries & cinnamon”. This makes a smooth curry sauce. Add all ingredients to pot without adding any butter or oil, placing chicken skin side facing down with 125 ml water to draw fat out. Chicken has a lot of it so do not add oil. When water is reduced and fats are drawn out, you may add your ginger onion garlic paste together with turmeric, masala or curry powder, roasted ground spices (you may keep half back to add when almost done), curry leaves, cinnamon roll.

In this curry I didn't use a bought curry powder (Masala). I added a sweet red pepper to enhance red colour and flavourIn this curry I didn’t use a bought curry powder (Masala). I added a sweet red pepper to enhance red colour and flavour

In this curry I didn't use a bought curry powder (Masala). To increase the red colour of curry without turning up the heat too much. Add a purreed sweet red pepper together with red cayenne chillies and skins left on tomatoes, esp the oval jam tomatoes. Pre steam and puree adding right toward end exepting for the chilliesIn this curry I didn’t use a bought curry powder (Masala). To increase the red colour of curry without turning up the heat too much. Add a puréed sweet red pepper together with red cayenne chillies and skins left on tomatoes – esp the oval jam tomatoes. Pre steam and puree adding right toward end exepting for the chillies.

This curry I have left out the chillies and added 60ml of wet masala which is all the rage at the moment and really enhances the curry intensifying the red colour. In the 1st 2 pix I used my own seeds to grind my own masala but the bought one's I must admit really do enhance the curry flavours! In this curry I did not puree in a sweet red pepper.In this curry I left out the chillies and added 60ml of wet masala which is all the rage in my area (We have an Indian spice shop in Sunridge Mall which really makes a good one) at the moment and really enhances this curry intensifying the red colour. In the 1st 2 pix I used my own seeds to grind my own masala but the bought one’s I must admit really do enhance the curry flavours! In this curry I did not puree in a sweet red pepper.

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