Dhabas - Indian truck stop restaurants - are often overlooked in our modern rush to list the best restaurants in a certain city. When in fact, these casual kitchens dotted along major highway routes serve up some of the tastiest food you will find. The chicken served is often locally farmed, and the chicken curry they cook is almost always on the bone. Until McDonalds and the other fast food chains arrived in the early 2000s, dhabas were India's version of fast food. Honest, no-nonsense, local food served up fast.
While many dhabas on the western coast heading to Gujarat might be vegetarian, this dhaba chicken curry is something the dhabas in Northern India would serve up. It's a simple chicken curry that many homes in India cook so the taste changes depending on where you eat it. The smoky flavour in this chicken curry comes from the fenugreek leaves we add in and if you like your curry spicy, simply leave out the yoghurt.
Ingredients (serves 4)
For the marination
150 gm Dolly Mumma Tandoori Paste
1 kg skinless chicken drumsticks and thighs
For the curry
1 jar Dolly Mumma Indian Everyday Paste
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp ghee
3-4 bay leaves
1/2 stick cinnamon
3-4 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp fenugreek leaves
100 gm yoghurt
2 tsp chickpea flour
Salt to taste
- Marinate the chicken in the Tandoori paste with a little salt. Leave for 3-4 hours
- In a saucepan, add the ghee. When the ghee is hot, add in the bay leaves, cinnamon and onion.
- Cook until the onion is golden. Add in the Indian Everyday paste and the tomato paste. Simmer together for 5-7 minutes.
- Add in your chicken along with some water. Cover and allow to cook at medium heat for around 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked. If you have the time and a slow cooker, I highly recommend cooking this in the slow cooker instead - the taste goes up by multiple notches.
- Meanwhile, bring your yoghurt to room temperature and mix in the flour.
- When the chicken is cooked, lower the heat and add in the fenugreek leaves.
- Mix in the yoghurt and slowly stir everything together.
- Adjust the seasoning.
- Serve hot with roti or steamed rice.
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