After eating curry leaf chicken in a restaurant in Bangalore, my entire family became a fan of this dish. The hero of the dish is, of course, curry leaves. It gives its unique flavor to this dish, making it stand apart from the chicken dishes made with tomato onion gravy. The curry plant is a native plant from Asia and is known to have many health benefits. It is full of antioxidants, is said to be great for hair and skin, and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Since Curry leaves grow extensively in India, this ingredient has found its way into many Indian recipes, especially those originating in the southern part of the country.
In Germany, it is not too easy to find fresh leaves. Since curry leaves grow best in warm and dry conditions, with 6-8 hours of direct sunlight, they are usually brought to Germany from warmer countries like Italy and Greece, or the grown plants are protected under specialized conditions during winter. Given these constraints, fresh leaves are usually hard to find. In my city, I mostly get dry curry leaves, which I buy and store in an air-tight jar so that I can use them for as long as I can.
Now, let’s start with the recipe for Curry leaf chicken.
Ingredients needed for Curry Leaf Chicken:
- Chicken breast: 600 gm ( washed and cut into cubes)
- Dry Curry leaves: 2 cups (for the gravy) + 5-6 used in the initial frying
- Onions: 2 big ( finely chopped)
- Finely chopped ginger and garlic: 1 tablespoon
- Ghee: 2 tablespoon
- Salt: To taste
- Turmeric Powder: 1 teaspoon
- Red Chili Powder: 1 teaspoon
- Coriander Powder: 1 tablespoon
- Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon
- Cumin Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
- Chana Dal: 2 tablespoons
- Grated Coconut: 2 tablespoons
- Dry Red chilies : 3-4 ( depending on how hot you want the dish to be)
- Cashews and almonds: 8-10 ( soaked and then turned into a paste)
- Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
- Bay leaves:: 1-2
- Green chilies: 2
- 5-6 Cashews + 2-3 green chilies + 1 teaspoon ghee for ‘Tadka’
- Fresh chopped Coriander leaves: For garnishing
- Water: About 2 cups
Method for making Curry Leaf Chicken:
- In a pan, dry roast chana dal on low to medium heat. After a few minutes, add dry red chilies when the chana dal changes color. Roast further. Then add grated coconut and curry leaves (2 cups). Roast everything together in low to medium heat, ensuring that nothing burns ( constant mixing with a spatula would help).
- Take it out and grind it into a powder after the mixture cools.
- In the same pan, fry cumin seeds in ghee. Add cloves and bay leaves.
- Then add finely chopped onions and a few(5-6) curry leaves and fry till the onions become translucent.
- Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, and salt, and fry for a minute more.
- Then add chicken and dry roast for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add the ground powder ( made in step 2).
- Dry roast for 1-2 minutes. Then add water and close the lid and cook for 5 minutes more.
- Once the chicken is completely cooked, turn off the heat and add the cashew-almond paste.
- In the end, take a small pan with 1 teaspoon of ghee. Fry fresh green chilies, curry leaves, and cashews. This is called Tadka. Put this tadka on the chicken curry, garnish with coriander leaves and serve.
Serve with rice, roti, or paratha.
Check out other recipes from my kitchen here.
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