Hajar's Black Cardamom Chicken Curry

“I received this recipe from an old boyfriend's mother who was born and lives in India. I made a few minor tweaks though the recipe remains virtually unchanged. This curry is Ayurvedic in nature; well balanced spicing and promotes health and well being so I am told and have read when using this spicing combination. I know it is very tasty! Please use the black cardamom pods whole and remove before serving. This dish has a marinade for the chicken and the "sauce" it is cooked in so the ingredients appear more daunting than they actually are.”
1hr 15mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. The marinade needs to be a smooth paste.Put the 1st 6 ingredients, EXCEPT chicken, into a blender with a splash of water and puree.
  2. Place sliced chicken in a bowl and spread the marinade over, coating each piece. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, though you can leave it longer or even overnight is best.
  3. When you're ready to cook the dish, put a large pot, preferably heavy bottomed, over a medium heat. Add the oil. When it's hot stir in the cinnamon and cardamom for a few seconds.
  4. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes until it starts to soften. It will turn brown from the cinnamon.
  5. Add cumin and coriander, then gradually add the yoghurt, stirring all the time.
  6. Add the tomato paste and mix in well, reduce the heat.
  7. Put the chicken and its marinade into the pan and cook for about 5 minutes.
  8. Pour the water into the pan and still in the garam masala if you have any. I have made this without it and it is so flavorful that I didn't really miss it.
  9. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes or so until the sauce has reduced to a thick, spoon able consistency. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and serve.
  10. I serve this with naan bread, mango, peach or apricot chutney, and rice flavored with cooked onions. You want a fairly plain rice as the dish is so flavorful a strongly seasoned rice would mask the wonderful flavors of the dish.
  11. Servings being difficult to judge as a serving is different to everyone. So I am listing this as 4 servings for hearty appetites. Cooking does not include marinating time. Boneless thighs work well for this too; just cut into fairly wide strips.

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