The March 2011 issue of Food and Wine includes a number of recipes by Sanjeev Kapoor, author of How to Cook Indian. I’m not sure I need a 600+ page Indian cookbook, but I did enjoy this Dhaba Chicken Curry recipe that was featured in the article.

First, bloom the spices in warm oil and then add finely chopped onion and garlic.

Bloom the spices in warm oil

Add onions and garlic

Add tomato sauce and turmeric. Finally, add chicken breasts or thighs and simmer until done. As usual, I find it takes longer than 10 minutes to cook a chicken breast or thigh. I suggest you cook them for 15 minutes and then cut in to make sure they are cooked.

Sprinkle with garam masala and cilantro and serve. I served this curry with Indian-spiced potatoes, peas and cauliflower (see January 30, 2011 Eye for a Recipe posting for the recipe). We also found some additive-free Patak’s Original Pappadums, which you just microwave for 30 seconds.

We served the Dhaba Chicken Curry with Indian-spiced vegetables and pappadums

To avoid additives and preservatives in this recipe, make sure your spices are 100% pure.


3 onions, coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves

One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves

Pinch of ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 cup tomato sauce

Four 6-ounce chicken breast halves on the bone, skinned


1 cup water

Garam masala, for sprinkling

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


In a food processor, chop the onions. Add the garlic and ginger and process until they are finely chopped.

In a medium, enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the vegetable oil. Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and cook over low heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onion mixture and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add the turmeric and tomato sauce and simmer over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and add them to the casserole. Coat the chicken with the sauce. Add the water, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, turning a few times, until the chicken is white throughout, about 10 minutes. Season the chicken curry with salt.

Transfer the chicken and sauce to a serving bowl. Sprinkle garam masala on top, garnish with the cilantro and serve. Serves 4. Serve with Basmati rice or naan.

From the March 2011 issue of Food and Wine