Pistachio and Yoghurt Chicken Curry
This rich and mildly spiced dish is fit for a maharajah. In fact the inspiration for this dish came from a book I picked up on my travels in India: Cooking Delights of the Maharajahs, written by a former prince of Sailana, Digvijaya Singh. He loved the exotic Mughlai dishes served up in his kitchens so much that he learnt and recorded every single one.
The ground pistachios lend themselves perfectly to the sweetness of the onions and create a beautiful, rich, creamy sauce. You’ll need a spice grinder, ideally, or food processor to grind the
nuts for this recipe.
|100g||unsalted pistachios (plus extra to serve)|
|5cm||ginger, peeled and roughly chopped|
|4||cloves of garlic, roughly chopped|
|3 tbsp||rapeseed oil|
|2||large onions, sliced into fine rings|
|2||large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped|
|¼ tsp||ground black pepper|
|1 tsp||garam masala|
|½ tsp||chilli powder|
|1 tbsp||coriander seeds, crushed|
|½ tsp||ground cardamom|
|4cm||cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon|
|1 tsp||salt (or to taste)|
|800g||skinless, boneless chicken thighs, chopped into 2cm cubes|
|250ml||hot chicken stock|
|4 tbsp||home-made or Greek yoghurt (plus extra to serve)|
You will need a food processor or spice grinder.
In a food processor or spice grinder, grind the pistachios to a fine powder and set aside. Bash up
the ginger and garlic in a pestle and mortar to a coarse paste and set aside.
Put the oil in a wide-bottomed, lidded frying pan on a medium heat and, when it’s hot, add the
onions. Fry until caramelized, which should take around 20 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger
paste and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes before adding the tomatoes.
Put the lid on the pan and leave the tomatoes to cook for around 5 minutes, until they start to break
down, then add the black pepper, garam masala, chilli powder, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon
and salt. Stir, then add the chicken pieces to the pan.
Turn the chicken so that it seals on all sides, then add the ground pistachios. Stir-fry for a minute,
then pour in the chicken stock. Lightly whisk the yoghurt with a fork, then stir it into the pan. Pop
the lid on the pan and leave to cook for around 15 minutes. Taste the dish and adjust as you wish.
Add a little water to get a good saucy consistency if need be. To serve, spoon over a dollop of yoghurt,
scatter with chopped pistachios and squeeze over the lemon juice. Eat with a bowl of basmati rice
or some naan bread.