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Mild Chicken Masala

Chicken Masala

Mild Chicken Masala

There seems to be a belief that kids don’t like food with distinct flavours, that they won’t like this and they wouldn’t eat that, but I’m of the opinion that it’s usually well meaning adults making those decisions for their kids.

My granddaughters have learned to enjoy a small amount of chilli in their food from eating Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese dishes with their parents however their resistance to Indian food lasted longer. They found it difficult differentiate between spice and chilli.

Without a mention of “spice” or “India” I served this mild but aromatically spiced creamy chicken curry to them a while back, a small portion to try with carrot and cashew nut pilau, cucumber raita and some simple steamed broccolini. They were both came back for seconds in a flash, and if it wasn’t for good manners, I think they’d have licked their plates clean.

There is no chilli at all in this curry, but there is a large amount of whole and ground spices. The flavour IS spicy, but in a rich and  aromatic way that lingers because there’s no chilli to cut it short.

This delicious curry is an adaptation of Murgh Masala from The Food of India, a Murdoch publication.

Chicken Masala – serves 6

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

5 whole cloves

8 cardamom pods

5cm cinnamon stick

10 curry leaves

1kg free range boneless chicken thighs

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2teaspoons ground coriander

1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

5cm knob of fresh ginger, grated

2 very ripe tomatoes, chopped

3/4 cup thick natural yoghurt

1 teaspoon sea salt

In a heavy based pan, heat then oil over a medium heat then toast the whole spices and curry leaves.

When the seeds begin to splutter, add the chicken, ground spices, ginger and tomatoes.

Stir the thoroughly distribute the spices through the chicken the stir in the yoghurt and salt.

Slowly bring the pan to the boil, stir well then cover and simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes.

Uncover and continue to simmer for a further 15 minutes.

The sauce should be thick and creamy.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

26 comments on “Mild Chicken Masala

  1. fergie51
    June 18, 2017

    Made this tonight along with the dry potato curry! A very happy group left the dinner table! I also made a madras beef curry and even though I nearly burned the life out of it I saved it just in the nick of time. Our little grandson eats and loves everything except avocado and he hoes into spicy without any drama. Thanks for sharing, as you know, love our Indian! 🙂

    Like

  2. Tracey O'Brien
    April 30, 2017

    What a fantastic recipe! I’m making it this week. And I love that you’ve used chicken thighs, which is the cut I always use for my curries.

    Like

  3. scarletclark
    April 28, 2017

    Sounds a wonderful and delicious recipe! – I’m sure there are many adults out there who need a soft introduction to aromatic curries and this would be perfect! My own children had no choice: I’ve always served them what I serve myself so they’ve grown up liking hot chillies, spiced foods and rich flavours. Doesn’t mean they’re not partial to something plain and simple though – but oddly that’s more of a change for them 🙂

    Like

  4. Conor Bofin
    April 28, 2017

    I suffer prop envy each time I read your Indian posts Sandra.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 29, 2017

      Thanks Conor, I recall seeing a gorgeous timber board in a photo you posted and having a similar response..

      Like

  5. Brian
    April 28, 2017

    Even me, a chilli addict, can see whats in your masala, and know I would love it.
    Its a yes, to feeding kids a variety cuisines, but my daughter (23yrs) was used to Indian food been eaten by her parents & friends a couple of times weekly, and at social gatherings. She now cooks up ‘curry’ a couple of times a week – whilst there are no children yet, I do see a pattern.
    cheers

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 28, 2017

      Kids in India are weaned on spicy food so it seems we in the west are misguided. This is a really aromatic curry but adding chilli would be perfectly acceptable!

      Like

  6. Mackay Sherry
    April 28, 2017

    Sounds delicious. And yes I agree kids should at least try these things.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 28, 2017

      I could scream when I hear parents saying “you won’t like that,” it takes away the will to even give it a go and cements the idea that kids are naturally fussy eaters,

      Like

  7. Linda Duffin
    April 27, 2017

    I can think of a good few adults who’d like this, including a chilli-hating friend. I’ll bet your kitchen smelled wonderful, so aromatic.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 27, 2017

      You’re right the aroma was incredible. Chilli scares some people, usually after a bad experience. I think tolerance takes time to build

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Eha
    April 27, 2017

    * big smile whilst remembering* When our two daughters began eating dinner with us initially I actually cooked half the dinner more simply for them! No way were they willing to be ‘babies’!! ‘We want what you are having’ was the catchcry – and they were both stubborn enough not to show if they did not like something we enjoyed!! And that included SO much Indian food, pretty hot at that 🙂 !! Travel with them was a true joy: they were much bolder in asking the waiter to describe a dish 🙂 !! Yours is a classic and beautiful chicken curry [must add curry leaves to my recipe!] sans the chilli component . . . . shall try it when a few of my less heat loving friends come for dinner . . .

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 27, 2017

      My kids have great palates too and are a joy to cook for and dine with. I feel the need to set the grandies on the right path too. Curry leaves really contribute a delicious aromatic flavour. I always have a bundle in the freezer

      Like

  9. chefkreso
    April 27, 2017

    Wonderful, looks so delicious!

    Like

  10. katechiconi
    April 27, 2017

    There’s a lot to be said for not creating preconceptions! Being adventurous with food will serve them well in the future 🙂 And this sounds delish.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 27, 2017

      Thanks Kate, accepting a variety of flavours is a learning experience that should start at the beginning IMO

      Like

      • katechiconi
        April 27, 2017

        I agree; I think the French have the right idea. They don’t have special food for children, they feed them what the adults are having, and the children develop much more sophisticated palates as a result!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
    April 27, 2017

    From an early age, my son enjoyed spicy foods – particularly TexMex and Indian. Children should be able to explore foods and be given a wide variety of tastes, but you are right that too much chilli can sometimes put people off. I’m sure your grandchildren enjoyed this curry!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 27, 2017

      They did Deb, enormously. I never made concessions for my kids either, they are what we ate although chilli wasn’t a regular part of out diet 30 yrs ago

      Liked by 1 person

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