Kadai Chicken

400 grams chicken (bone or boneless)
3/4 cup capsicums (or bell peppers) cubed (optional)
1/2 cup onions (cubed & layers separated) (optional)
3/4 cup tomatoes (chopped & pureed) (about 2 large)
1 1/2 tablespoons oil (divided, adjust as needed)
1 red chili broken
1/2 teaspoon cumin or jeera (optional)
1/2 cup onions chopped finely
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon Salt or as needed
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder Kashmiri (optional)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
10 cashew nuts (or 3 tablespoon cream)
1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
2 tablespoons coriander leaves or cilantro finely chopped

For kadai masala:
1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds (or daniya)
4 red chilies
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala powder
3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)

Dry roast 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds, 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds and 4 red chilies until crisp & aromatic.

Cool and powder them in a spice jar along with 1 to 1½ teaspoon garam masala.

Add 3/4 cup chopped tomatoes to a blender and puree them. You can skip this step if you don’t mind using tomatoes directly.

Optional: Substitute to cream. You can skip this step if using cream. Soak 10 cashews in warm water for 10 minutes. Then make a fine smooth paste adding 4 to 6 tbsps water.

Optional: Add 1 tbsp oil to a kadai or wok. When the oil turns hot, add 3/4 cup cubed capsicum and 1/2 cup cubed onions. Fry for 2 minutes on the highest flame. When you begin to smell them good transfer to a plate. Keep it aside.

Heat the kadai with 1 tablespoon oil. Then add 1 broken chili and ½ teaspoon cumin.

Fry till the cumin begins to splutter. Add ½ cup finely chopped onions and fry till they turn golden.

Next add 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste. Fry till the raw smell goes off. Do not burn it.

Add chicken and fry for 3 to 4 minutes. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add kadai masala, turmeric and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (optional).

Mix and fry well for just 2 to 3 minutes.

Next pour tomato puree, cashew paste and add salt.

Mix and cook till the raw smell of the tomatoes goes away.

The masala thickens and begins to leave oil. Cover and cook until the chicken is soft cooked.

Add sauted onions and capsicums. Mix and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Cook till the gravy thickens to your desired consistency.

If using cream, pour the cream to a bowl. Take a portion of the gravy and mix with cream. Add back to the kadai and stir well.

Do not overcook kadai chicken. Capsicum and onions should be crunchy.

Sprinkle crushed kasuri methi and coriander leaves. Mix well and cook for just one to two minutes. Off the stove.

Serve kadai chicken with rice or roti.

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