- Some chicken (skin or no skin, whatever is good for you)
- Some onions (~10% the mass of chicken)
- Tomatoes (or tomato puree, about 10% the mass of chicken)
- Garlic, and ginger (preferably as paste, but finely cut will do, about 2% of the mass of chicken)
- Curry powder mix (availably freely, usually a blend of spices, about 5% the mass of chicken)
- Cooking oil (about 2% the mass of chicken)
- Salt to taste
- Put it all into a pot (don't add water).
- Turn the heat on low, and mix things up a little best you can (doesn't have to perfect, it's just the beginning)
- Cover it, and keep mixing. The lack of water may make the chicken stick to the bottom, so just shake things up every few minutes.
- After a while, chicken broth will develop (guaranteed to happen with raw chicken), which is why you don't need to add water. This is what you're waiting for.
- Mix it more thoroughly now, and make sure the spices are evenly distributed (easier to do now that there's a medium)
- Cover it, and let it cook. You can turn the heat up a bit more, now that there's water.
- When it's done, feast, preferably with rice. Flatbread, pita bread, sliced bread, or tortillas work just as well, though.
- I love vegetables, and adding them to this recipe is very simple. The main parameter to consider here is timing. Too soon, and your vegetables become mush. Too late, and they're totally raw (not necessarily a bad thing, but not always ideal, like with potatoes).
Just go crazy with the vegetables being cognizant of the timing. For potatoes, pop them in at about 40% completion. Your mileage may vary depending on the kind of potatoes you use, and how finely you cut them. Finely cut potatoes have a higher surface area-to-volume ratio, and so cook faster.
- Sometimes you want gravy, sometime you don't want much gravy (depending on if you're eating it with rice, or with bread, or with vegetables, or on its own). You vary this by varying how much you cover your pot. If you cover it more, you'll have more gravy (more water is retained in the system). If you cover it less, it will be drier.
- Minimize the amount of oil you put in. Oil isn't the best thing to eat, and it makes cleaning up harder. But oil is an oft-abused ingredient. Think about it, too much oil doesn't ruin a dish the same way too much salt ruins it. So a lot of people become chronic abusers of it.
The reason for that is simple: oil is a good heat buffer, so adding extra oil delays food from burning. But oil is not meant as a cover for bad cooking, it's meant as a flavor enhancer, and a cooking medium.
Minimize the amount of oil you add, and monitor and regulate the amount of heat you apply. This isn't possible on first try, but do your best and refine your protocol as you go along.
- Salt. If you're eating the chicken with rice, too much salt is okay (rice dilutes the salt, so you have some leeway). If you're eating it with bread, it could mean the difference between an edible and inedible meal. Be careful with salt, and err on the side of caution. Add less to start with, and refine the amount later on in the cooking. I usually add some salt initially, and refine it at about the 70% completion mark by tasting it.
- This simple recipe can be varied by varying the spice blend. Go crazy with it. You can't go wrong so long as you have the core spices: turmeric and coriander. After that, your imagination and taste palate are the only limitations.