This recipe is based on one for butter chicken (unfortunately the page was down the last time I checked, so the link may not work) that I’ve adapted slightly. The original is delicious, but this version came about on a Tuesday night before our Wednesday CSA delivery when I still needed to use up a handful of vegetables from the previous week! As a result, I’ve added a pound of potatoes and a spare zucchini, plus an entire onion. (And some frozen peas, because why not?)
I also made some adjustments to lighten up this recipe. Most curry recipes (and really, many recipes in general) start with at least a tablespoon or two of cooking oil. I’ve learned from cooking out of Ellie Krieger’s cookbooks that you can almost always get away with less. So I use just half a tablespoon of grapeseed oil for each of the two pans (one for the chicken and one for the vegetables and sauce). I also skipped the cream, milk and yogurt in the original recipe and substituted almond milk blended with cornstarch (the same trick I use in this lentil curry).
This rich, spicy curry is perfect for a cool winter night.
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp curry powder
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
- ½ tbsp oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 pound new potatoes, cut into ½-inch chunks
- ½ tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 6-8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs
- ¼ tsp garam masala
- ¼ tsp curry powder
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tbsp oil
- Cooked rice for serving, if desired
- Combine the spices in a small bowl and add the butter and lime or lemon juice. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until soft.
- Add the spice mixture and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and cook another minute, stirring and scraping up the browned pieces on the bottom of the pot.
- Shake or blend together almond milk and cornstarch. Add to the pot along with potatoes. Add a little water if necessary so that the potatoes are covered.
- Bring everything to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes or longer depending on the size of the potato pieces.
- Meanwhile, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Toss with the garam masala, curry powder and cayenne pepper (this is where most of the heat in the dish comes from; this amount makes a medium-hot curry, so adjust as needed). Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat an additional ½ tbsp oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chicken and cook undisturbed for several minutes until seared on the bottom. Continue to cook, turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and browned on most sides. Set aside.
- When the potatoes are nearly tender, add the zucchini and continue to cook another 5 minutes until softened.
- Add the chicken and peas to the sauce and stir to combine. Cook one minute or two until peas are defrosted and bright green. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve with hot rice.
*Nutrition facts calculated without rice