JBC Classic Chicken Curry

Read our story with an excerpt from The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook by Preeti Mistry with Sarah Henry.

Recipes on this page are from The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook © 2017 by Preeti Mistry with Sarah Henry, Running Press. Reprinted with permission.

Serves 4

4 whole chicken legs or 1 whole chicken

For the marinade:
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
2 inches of fresh turmeric root, minced (or substitute 1 teaspoon powdered turmeric)
2 serrano chiles, minced
1 bunch cilantro (including stems), roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Mustard Fenugreek Masala (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon salt

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons neutral oil
½ yellow onion, julienned
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
½ tablespoon serrano chile, minced
2 cups green cabbage, julienned
1 tablespoon Dhanna Jeeru Masala (recipe follows)
2 cups canned diced tomatoes

To marinate the chicken:

Remove the skin from the chicken legs.

Place the garlic, ginger, turmeric, chile, cilantro, masala, and salt in a blender with ½ cup water. Purée the mixture until fully incorporated; it should be the consistency of pesto.

Pour the marinade over the chicken legs, mix to ensure the chicken is fully coated, and let it sit for at least 6 hours, or ideally overnight.

To braise the chicken:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and let simmer on medium-high heat to soften the onions. When the onions begin to release liquid—in about 5 to 7 minutes—add the ginger and chile. After a few minutes, add the cabbage and masala and stir. A little bit of the spice blend will stick to the bottom of the pan; this is normal. Continue to stir and after about 3 minutes add the tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spoon to remove any spices and mix them into the sauce.

Season the sauce with salt to taste, and stir to fully combine all the ingredients. Add the chicken and all of the marinade. Make sure the chicken is fully covered in the sauce, add a little extra water if needed, and bring to a boil. After the sauce comes to a boil, lower the heat and cover for 20 to 25 minutes. To check the chicken’s readiness, pull out a leg with a pair of tongs. If it is fully cooked, the meat should pull away from the bone. If not, let it simmer for a few more minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. Remove the chicken from the heat and set aside.

The sauce should be thick and chunky. If it is too soupy, place the pan on medium heat to reduce the liquid and ensure a thicker sauce consistency. Return the chicken to the hot sauce to warm. Serve over lemon turmeric rice.

Mustard Fenugreek Masala

Makes 1 cup

3 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 black cardamom pod
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon cloves
½ stick cinnamon
½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
½ cup dried chile de árbol
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Measure out all the spices onto a sheet pan. Place the pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes until the spices begin to slightly smoke and turn a little brown. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside to cool. When the spices are fully cooled, grind them in a spice grinder in batches, until all spices are completely ground. Mix them well and keep in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.

Dhanna Jeeru Masala

Makes 1 cup

¾ cup coriander seeds
¼ cup cumin seeds

Combine the spices and grind them in a spice grinder in batches until all spices are fully ground. Mix well and keep in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.