Old Delhi-style poussin curry

Tender young chicken is simmered in an onion sauce flavoured with fresh mint and coriander, by Birmingham chef Aktar Islam
Old Delhi-style poussin curry
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the roast garlic and ginger spice paste

  • 1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ deggi mirch chilli powder, (see Cook's tips)

For the brown onion paste

  • 1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • ½ small onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp natural yogurt

For the masala

  • 2 cassia leaves, (Indian bay leaves)
  • 2 black cardamom
  • 2 green peppercorns
  • 5 black peppercorns

For the curry

  • 2 poussins, skin scored
  • 1 pinches ground turmeric
  • 100 ml vegetable or sunflower oil
  • ½ onions, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, halved lengthways
  • 1 ripe tomato, chopped
  • 400 ml boiling water
  • 1 handful coriander, finely chopped
  • 10 mint leaves, finely chopped

Tips and Suggestions

Deggi mirch is an Indian chilli powder that imparts a deep red colour to dishes. You can use paprika or chilli powder instead.

Method

1. For the roast garlic and ginger spice paste: heat the oil in a small pan over a medium heat and fry the garlic, ginger and onion for 5 minutes or until softened and golden brown.

2. Transfer the mixture to a mini food processor. Add the dry spices and 3 tablespoons water and blend until smooth. Set aside.

3. For the brown onion paste: heat the oil in a pan over a medium-high heat and fry the onion for 10 minutes or until softened and browned.

4. Tip the onion into a mini food processor, add the yogurt and blend until smooth. Set aside.

5. For the masala: mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

6. For the curry: rub the poussin all over with turmeric. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat and fry the poussin for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.

7. Add the masala to the pan and fry for 1 minute. Stir in the onion and green chilli and keep frying for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is softened and translucent.

8. Stir in the roast garlic and ginger paste, reduce the heat to low and cook gently for 10 minutes.

9. Season with a pinch of salt then stir in the brown onion paste and tomato. Return the poussin to the pan, pour in the boiling water and increase the heat to medium.

10. Bring the curry to a simmer and cook gently for 25 minutes, or until the poussin is cooked through and tender.

11. Remove the poussin from the sauce and set aside on a warm serving plate. Boil the sauce vigorously for 5 minutes, or until it is thick and rich.

12. Stir the coriander and mint into the sauce, then spoon it over the poussin and serve.

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