Every family has their version of comfort food. The one food that everyone likes, that everyone will eat, and that makes everyone feel happy. For our family, it is my take on chicken curry. If you ask my kids on any given day, what they want for dinner, they will say “chicken and rice”. These days, my husband will say things like “I think the KIDS really want some chicken curry”. Right…. the kids. This is the dish I make when someone has a bad cold, its the dish that I make when we celebrate and when we feel down to lift our spirits. Sometimes I just make it because its easy to make and I know everyone will eat it to stop complaining.
The recipe has been tweaked and tested over time. I started out by making it just how my mom made it when I was a kid. I soon realized that it was too strong on the spices and heat for my kids and had a little too much oil for us to eat on a regular basis. I tweaked it by adding in more flavor through cilantro, onions, cumin, and mustard seeds, reducing the oil content and using chicken broth as a flavor enhancer.
I have often been confused when people tell me they love “curry”. I didn’t understand because to me, I refer to any Indian dish that has a gravy like consistency as a “curry”. It finally occurred to me that what people were referring to was the particular spice mixture that was used. In our particular community we refer to this spice as “masala” and some people refer to it as “curry”. So for this dish, you can use a pre-made “masala” or “curry powder”. You will get a similar result. Any Indian store will carry a large variety of pre-made powders. I like the Shaan brand but the difference between brands is minimal and they all contain the same ingredients. You can get the Chicken Curry Masala Powder or the Meat Masala Powder. Or, just buy a few different ones and see which ones taste the best.
Don’t be afraid of spices. Spices add flavor and don’t necessarily mean heat. It will take a few tries to figure out the flavor that you like best so feel free to tweak the recipe to your liking. All of the spice amounts are suggestions. Be bold and make this dish your own. I hope you enjoy making and eating this dish as much as we do!