chicken jalfrezi (cooking project – day 24)


If Thursday’s are my lazy cooking nights, Fridays must be my complex, exploratory, who knows what the hell that is nights.  I love Indian food but after a couple less than stellar attempts at chicken curry I gave up for a while.  However, this week I was feeling quite confident and found a recipe for chicken jalfrezi that I couldn’t resist trying.

One of the main ingredients of the recipe is garam masala, translated “hot mixture”, which is a combination of spices. I looked at my local grocery store and had no luck finding this blend so made my own mix at home.  I substituted some things I didn’t have on hand, but I think the result came out pretty good.

I used the following spices to make up the garam masala:
1 tbsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. coriander
1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

After making up the garam masala, I was ready to try out the chicken jalfrezi. The ingredients for this dish are:
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. garam masala
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. dry mustard
2+ tsp. fresh ginger or ginger paste
1 onion, sliced
3+ garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1 in. pieces
1 cup canned chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp. chopped cilantro

Once you have all of the ingredients together the cooking method is actually quite simple.  First heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat and add the garam masala, cumin, mustard, and turmeric and stir for one minute.  This will smell amazing!

Next add the onion, ginger and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring often for about two minutes until the onion starts to soften. Add the peppers and cook for another five minutes.  Great colors and smells at this point!

Increase the heat to medium-high, add the chicken and cook until it begins to brown.  Add the tomatoes and cilantro, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir frequently and serve hot with a side of basmati rice.

This dish was so good and probably would’ve been even better with a little heat.  You could probably add some diced chiles in with the peppers and increase the flavor even more.  I highly recommend trying this!



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