This recipe uses low-fat yogurt and caramelized onions for the gravy. The key to attaining the rich taste in this recipe lies in taking the time to caramelize the onions properly while ensuring that they do not get burnt. I prefer to use low-fat yogurt but you can of course, use full fat yogurt for a creamier texture. I add a small amount of cornstarch since low-fat yogurt has a higher tendency of curdling during cooking. I also prefer to use a heart-healthy oil such as canola .
Apart from the fact that this recipe is much lower in fat and calories than traditional rich curries like Butter Chicken or Chicken Korma, it is also different because it mostly uses whole spices rather than powdered ones. You can sprinkle some garam masala towards the end if you prefer, but it’s not necessary.
Low-Fat , Creamy Chicken Curry
3 lbs skinless, bone-in chicken pieces
4 tbsp oil, divided
2 cups finely sliced onions
2 cups low-fat yogurt, at room temperature
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp black cumin
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay Leaves
4 green cardamom pods, cracked open
4 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon, about 1 inch long
3 whole dried red chilies
1/2 tsp red Chili powder or to taste
1 tsp salt or to taste
3/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
1) Rinse chicken and pat dry.
2) Heat 2 tbsp oil and sauté the sliced onions on medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes until beginning to color. Reduce heat to medium and sauté until dark brown, 12 to 15 minutes longer.
3) Remove the onions from the oil and spread them on a plate lined with absorbent paper towel to drain the excess oil and allow them to cool.
4) Stir yogurt and mix in cornstarch. Blend the caramelized onions and yogurt in a blender until smooth. Set aside.
5) In the same pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil . Add the black cumin, cumin, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and chile. Sauté for a few seconds.
6) Add the ginger and garlic pastes and sauté briefly. Add chicken , salt and red chili powder. Cook the chicken on medium-high heat for about 8 to 10 minutes until chicken is slightly brown and all the water dries up.
7) Add yogurt and onion mixture. Cover and bring to a boil . Reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is half cooked , about 20-25 minutes. Add half cup of fresh cilantro and continue to simmer the chicken until it is fully cooked, about 45 minutes to an hour.
8) Discard bay leaves, cardamom, cloves , cinnamon and chile before serving, if desired. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and serve hot with rice or and Indian bread ( naan or roti ).