This warming dish from chef Meera Sodha turns chicken thighs into a fragrant and delicious dish to be served over rice. Cook spices and onions, add ginger and garlic, and then add tomatoes and more spices. Add yogurt, bring to a simmer and then add the chicken. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about a half hour. Add sliced almonds, garam masala and cayenne and serve.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure your butter does not contain colour. Check the spices to be sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Unico and Blue Menu tomatoes are additive-free, as are No Name tomato paste and slivered almonds. Use an all-natural yogurt.

Cook the onions

Make a ginger, garlic and pepper paste

Add paste to onions and spices

Add tomatoes and chicken and simmer for about 30 minutes

Meera Sodha's chicken curry


2 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee

1 tablespoon neutral oil, like canola

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 cinnamon sticks, approximately 2 inches long

2 large white or yellow onions, peeled and finely chopped

1 2 1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated or minced

6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

2 green cayenne or jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into half-moons

Kosher salt, to taste

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons puréed tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

3 tablespoons whole-milk yogurt, plus 1 cup to serve with the meal

1 ¾ to 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks

3 tablespoons slivered almonds

1 teaspoon garam masala

Pinch ground cayenne pepper, or to taste.


Melt the butter or ghee in the oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat, and when it is hot and shimmering, add the cumin seeds and cinnamon sticks. Cook for a minute or two, stirring often, to intensify their flavors, then add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are golden, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the ginger, garlic and peppers into a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt, and smash them together into a coarse paste. (You can also do this on a cutting board, with a knife.)

Add the paste to the onions, and cook for 2 minutes or so, then pour in the tomatoes, and stir. Allow to cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, then add the tomato paste, ground cumin, ground turmeric and another pinch of salt, and stir to combine.

Add the yogurt slowly to the mixture, using a wooden spoon to whisk it into the sauce. It may be quite thick. When it begins to bubble, add the chicken. Lower the heat, put the lid on the Dutch oven and allow the curry to cook gently for 30 minutes or so, or until the chicken is cooked through. Add the almonds and the garam masala, along with a pinch of cayenne, and cook for 5 minutes more or so. Serve with basmati rice or naan, and the additional yogurt. Serves 4.

From the New York Times