Chicken Curry is so popular in Fiji that it has become one of the country’s National dishes (of course second to the Lovo). My recipe below is of a masala and spice rich version of the curry. There are many variations to this recipe such as one with less masala and more turmeric, suruwa (more gravy), dry fry with onions, in tomato, in yoghurt – the list goes on. My recipe is often the curry eaten with sides like rice and dhal as it has less suruwa but also goes great with roti.
More often than not, chicken curries have potatoes in them. Potatoes tend to break down and add gravy to the base and even soak up the flavours of the spices and the chicken giving the curry an added depth of flavour. Sometimes potatoes are added to increase the amount of curry because it is loved by everyone and usually dwindles down pretty quick.
Adding ghee to the curry makes it taste a bit more epic than it already is and also increases the crispiness of the chicken pieces. The more the chicken is left to fry, the yummier it gets. Therefore, if you eliminate the ghee when you cook, be sure to add a tad more oil in the beginning of the cooking process.
This recipe only suits store bought chickens as they are fattier, have a different texture and have more fat to muscle ratio. If you cook with fresh chickens (junglee murgi) you might need to alter the recipe and cooking time to ensure the meat is cooked correctly. I will add this variation of the recipe on the website soon (be sure to like our Facebook page to follow any new recipes).
I have created a video recipe to help you with the processes. If you are using whole chickens (preferred), there is a special way to cut the chicken into curry pieces. I have demonstrated this method in the video above. If you do not like bone in chicken pieces, use filleted chicken thighs instead. Chicken breasts will become too dry unfortunately so I do not recommend using these pieces.
1kg Whole Chicken (or thigh fillets)
1 Tbsp Oil
1 Tbsp Ghee
1 Star Anise
1 Small Cinnamon Bark
2 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Chilli Paste
1 Large Tomato – Diced (Alternative: Canned Tomatoes)
1 Diced Large Onion
1 Sprig of Curry Leaves
Salt to Taste
Masala – 2 Tbsp
Turmeric Powder – Till Colours Yellow
1 Tsp Mixed – Cumin, Mustard and Fenugreek Seeds
3 Small Potatoes – Diced
Fresh Coriander (Optional)
- Cut the chicken (if cutting the whole chicken, watch the video above), add the turmeric powder and set aside
- Heat oil in a non stick pan, add the curry leaves, cinnamon, cumin, mustard and fenugreek seeds till they begin to crackle and pop
- Once the seeds are popping, add the diced onion and sprinkle a pinch of salt to sauté
- When the onion is light brown, add the ginger garlic chillies and cook till a thick gravy forms
- Carefully add the chicken, add desired amount of salt and cook till the water evaporates from the pot. Once the curry begins to catch to the bottom of the pot, add the potatoes and tomatoes
- Then sprinkle the masala and combine. Add some water if the curry is sticking to the bottom of the pot
- Cook till potatoes easily break apart and add more water to form a desired consistency of gravy. Taste the curry and add more salt if needed and squeeze some lemon juice as desired
- Garnish with fresh coriander and the ghee, serve hot with basmati rice, roti or dalo and fresh salad