Kick up the spice levels with this tangy, flavourful chicken curry that pairs well with rice and breads.
Us Bengalis LOVE our chicken curry and maangsho jhol. Lavish, made with utter devotion to details like painstakingly hand-crushed spices… these two dishes form the crux of meals that you linger over while catching up on all the gossip, reminiscing over memories and indulging in heated discussions.
But this lavishness simply isn’t feasible during the weekdays. And ironically, that is when you NEED tasty food to help tide you through a cumbersome day, right? The Piri Piri Chicken Curry does that. It’s a concoction that my elder sister whipped up during her last visit, and I’ve modified it in the interim to make it the kind of spicy and tangy curry that awakens your tastebuds and lifts your mood.
All it takes is an adjustment of the seasonings to suit your palate. And you don’t need to labour over it. Though honestly, I did add a bit of labour by blanching the tomatoes because I have an intense dislike for tomato peels, but skip the blanching bit if you don’t mind them. It cuts down on cooking time too.
TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN COOKING THE PIRI PIRI CHICKEN CURRY
- The longer you marinate the chicken, the tastier it is. So if you can, try to let the marinaded chicken sit overnight.
- If blanching tomatoes feels tiresome, use tomato puree or regular tomatoes.
- Adjust the amount of Piri Piri Spice Mix and Cayenne Pepper to suit your palate AND health; the first time I made this dish, I added way too much pepper, as was evident with the beautiful eruptions on my face (cue eye roll!)
- If you like thick curries, add some cornflour slurry before removing the curry from the heat.
- I personally feel it tastes best with hot rice, but you do you!
And no, we’re not comparing it to Nando’s Piri Piri Chicken because that, my dear friends, is a religion.
If you make this recipe at home, do let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram – the handle is from.the.corner.table. AND if you are chicken lover like I am, here are some recipes to try – the Greek-inspired Chicken Souvlaki, a hearty Bulgur Wheat & Chicken Khichdi, Chicken in Yogurt Gravy and a Tangy Stir-Fried Chicken.
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- 500 grams Chicken pieces (with bone)
- 200 grams Tomatoes (blanched)
- 100 grams Onion
- 3/4 tablespoon Ginger paste
- 1 tablespoon Garlic minced
- 2½ tablespoon Piri Piri Spice
- 1½ tablespoon Cayenne pepper
- Salt (as required)
- 1 tablespoon Vinegar OR Lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 3 tablespoon Vegetable oil
- 1½ cup Hot water
- Cornflour slurry (optional)
Clean the chicken pieces and place in a large bowl.
- Whisk together 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder.
Add this marinade to the chicken and mix well, ensuring all the pieces are coated in the marinade.
- Cover and let it rest for at least 2 hours.
- If you can plan an overnight marinade, then go for it!
- If you’ve been marinating the chicken overnight in the refrigerator, bring it to room temperature before you start cooking.
Cut into blanched tomatoes into wedges and set aside.
- Peel and chop onion into wedges, separate the layers and transfer in a bowl.
- In a pan, heat oil to smoking point.
- Add onion, ginger paste and minced garlic.
- Cook on low heat till the onion is translucent.
- Add the tomato wedges and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Once the tomatoes begin to melt, add the chicken and Piri Piri Spice Mix.
- Mix well.
- Cover and allow the chicken to cook in its own juices till half done.
- Add hot water – adjust the water quantity to the amount of curry you need.
- Mix well and bring the curry to a simmer.
- Add salt if required. If you want your curry to be spicy, add more cayenne pepper.
- Let the curry simmer till the chicken is cooked through.
- If you’d prefer the curry consistency to be thicker, add some cornflour slurry, give the curry a good mix and remove it from the heat.
- Serve hot with rice or bread of choice.