Yogurt braised Chicken (Dahi Murghi) is one of my fave ever curries. It is easy to make & has bags of flavour. The yogurt makes an unctuous, slightly sour sauce which I find I can’t stop eating.
Many people only eat curries in restaurants & I understand that they can seem daunting to prepare, especially if you are not used to spices. However, this one is really, really easy & honestly much better than a curry house curry. I have made it tons of times & it never fails to please – even Becky likes this one.
You can play around with the spices to your taste. This basic recipe comes from Julie Sahni’s book Classic Indian Cooking. Cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon are all great additions. There is not much chilli in this recipe so if you like really hot curry just add more. I like this to have a little bit of heat and enjoy it most when the spicing is subtle.
This can also be a great vegetable curry. It is lovely with some greens such as beans or broccoli as the sauce is fragrant and creamy. Prawns are also a great alternative to chicken.
Yogurt Braised Chicken
Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 whole chicken or 6-8 pieces
3 medium onions
3 tbsp ghee or butter
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp poppy seeds (roasted)
2 tsp coriander seeds (roasted)
2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne (or less if you do not like chilli heat)
50ml cream (optional, use a bit more yogurt instead)
100ml water or chicken stock
1 tsp salt
How to make the curry:
1. Thinly slice the onions and start to fry them slowly in the ghee. It is important that they become soft without browning too much. This will take about 15 minutes. If the pan becomes dry add a little more ghee or a dash of water.
2. If you are using a whole chicken take off the wings and then remove the skin. Portion the chicken into thighs, drumsticks and cut the breast into 3 or 4 pieces but keep the bones. The wings and spine can be saved for stock. If you are using pieces just remove the skin. I sometimes just use chicken breasts for this dish (especially if I am short of time) but I prefer the flavour obtained by cooking the chicken on the bone.
3. Once the onions are soft mince the garlic and add it to the onions.
4. A couple of minutes later add all the spices and let them fry for a minute or so until they are really fragrant and then add the yoghurt, cream and water.
5. This should all cook down for about ten minutes and then turn off the heat and let it cool a little.
6. Blend the mixture until you have a lovely smooth sauce.
7. At this point you can either brown the chicken and then add the sauce or just bring the sauce up to a simmer & add the chicken to gently poach.
8. Simmer the curry gently until the chicken pieces are tender. This should take about 45 minutes if they are on the bone, less for just breast meat.
9. The curry is ready when the sauce is really reduced and thick like double cream. Check the seasoning.
This is one of those dishes which really benefits from time to infuse and develop the flavours and is best eaten the day after it is made. Serve with rice and or bread & some pickles & chutney