Friday, 11 September 2015

Something minty

I confess, I hate making Punjabi food. I hate preparing any dish that requires me to stand by the stove stirring and mixing and adding ingredients bit by bit but something somewhere in my brain that controls my culinary skills has had a change of heart. Has it anything to do with my short stint at Masterchef Asia, I cannot say but my family is enjoying this new dietary chapter because in my house Punjabi food is a luxury and rarely seen.

Today I took a leap of faith and prepared a never tried before dish, mint chicken curry (although this isn't a Punjabi dish but it is cooked Indian style). I have not even prepared chicken curry so making this for some guests was a big deal. "What if they didn't like?" "What if I didn't like it because I have never tasted it before?" were some nagging questions I had to push aside.

I love mint and everything that it is added to (you'll find mint in my omelette, pineapple, infused water and so much more). So I was rather confident of this recipe which I bagged from an social media groupie's page.

Seriously, who doesn't like mint? The aromatic and vibrant green leaves energises my soul every time I sniff it. I love it so much that I have it growing in my own backyard.

In case you are wondering how it tastes like? It was very refreshing. Something about the mint that made this curry unlike your usual chicken curry which leaves a very oily and curry'ish after taste in my mouth.

Not to blow my own trumpet but my family and guests enjoyed it very much. Even my non spice eater children loved it! My guest, an Aussie could also handle the heat and said it was something he has never had before. Now can I blow my trumpet?

So this recipe is a keeper hence it is being logged into my blog.

Now lets get down to business if you are ready for this wonderfully aromatic and fresh tasting Mint Chicken Curry.


The Recipe

To make this, you'll need whole loads of mint and flat parsley leaves. I am talking about a bag full of it and advance prepping because the chicken needs to be marinated for half hour or longer.
The ingredients
for the marinade (to be blended);
1 kg organic chicken or any good quality and healthy chicken you can find
1 1/2 cup mint leaves
1 cup flat parsley
3 small Indian shallots or 1 big red onion
Half bulb garlic which is about 5 to 6 cloves
A good thumb sized ginger
and (drumroll please....) 6 green cili padi (today marks the first day I am using more than 2 bird's eye chili) 
Pour this paste into a ziplock bag together with chicken and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least half hour. I made mine at lunch hour and only cooked it about 6pm.

for the curry;
Cooking oil about 1/4 to 1/2 cup (what!!! I know it is A LOT but hey that what makes Indian curry so devilishly delicious) or you can use 4 TBS of ghee (a better alternative)
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
3 cardamon pods
1 TBS of mixed Indian spices usually used for curry (coriander, fenugreek, fennel and mustard seeds)
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 curry leaflet
4 dried chili stalk
1 TBS ground cumin
1 TBS meat curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 bay leaves 
1/2 cup mint leaves
for those seeking heat in their curry, add a heaping tablespoon of chili powder, not only will this give more depth to you curry but a beautiful colour too.


Blend marinade ingredients and massage it to the chicken and let it sit for half hour or longer.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed shallow pot and add the first four ingredients from the list above. Quickly cover the pot to avoid mustard seeds shooting out all over your face and body. I suggest you use an oil splatter to safeguard yourself and spare you the mess, frying these buggers can create.

Then, add curry leaves, onion, red chili (I dare you to add some whole bird's eye chili here, I think 5 will do) and let it fry for a couple of minutes (or till the aroma starts travelling through your kitchen and tingle the noses of your kids in the living room, either causing them to sneeze or rushing to the kitchen to see what's mummy cooking).

Add marinated chicken along with the marinade sauce. Stir it well and let it cook for half hour over low flame but do keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't dry up and burn. 

Finally add ground spices, bay leaf, mint leaves and some water. Mix it well and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes or until chicken is tender, on low heat.

Serve it up with some lemon rice, raita, fried french beans & carrots and wholemeal roti (chapati)

This may not be my 30 minutes meal i strive to make on a daily basis but it is good to have variation. For some of my 30 minutes meal, do check out my Recipe Page 

Thank you for stopping by at A cuppa for my thoughts
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  1. I really dislike mint, but I love Punjabi food! This looks absolutely delicious!

    1. Thanks. You're the first I have come across who dislikes mint but you can still make this chicken. Just replace the mint from the marinade with tandori powder and add yogurt.