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Chicken Curry

Nothing makes the use of the fabulous spices from India like a good curry does. While these curries can be made with a bunch of ingredients like seafood, lamb, pork and an amazing variety of veggies – chicken seems to be a the most popular universally and rightly so! It is very hard to go wrong with a chicken curry because these is no hard and fast rule when it comes to making one.

When it comes to curry recipes in India there is no limit. Each state, region and even family has their own unique recipe for it. No matter which part of the country you are in, you can be sure of eating a good chicken curry. Right from the delicious creamy and rich curries of the north, the light and flavorful jhols of the east, and the variety of coconut based chicken curries from the West and South of India – the list is endless.

Chicken curries form the north are rich, thick and more robust as compared to the ones made elsewhere in the country. They are also the ones that popularized curries abroad. The likes of butter chicken and chicken tikka masala use tandoor or grilled chicken in a creamy tomato and butter based thick curry. There are also simpler ones like a dhaba chicken curry or tariwala murgha which don’t have creamy, buttery gravy but are high on flavor from whole spices, onions and tomatoes. Best eaten with crisp roti’s and paranthas, they could easily be the star attraction in an Indian meal.

In the South of India chicken curry is just as popular as it is in the North albeit made with different ingredients. While in the north the curries are made with onions tomato and yogurt in the south Coconut or coconut milk is a regular addition to give body to a good chicken curry. From the coconut and bedagi chilly based masala of Karnataka to the curry leaf and onion base of an Andhra style peppery chicken curry or the cooling coconut milk based curries of Kerala – there is one thing that is common for curries from the south – plenty of flavor. These delicious curries are served with famous South Indian accompaniments like idlis, dosas, appams, iddiappams, Kerala paranthas etc.

A chicken curry from Bengal on the other hand is slightly runnier than in other pockets of the country and is called a jhol. While you might be more familiar with a machcher or fish curry from the east, they do make a delightful chicken curry too – murgir jhol. Eaten with a generous helping of rice, make sure you make this Bengali curry with either mustard oil or jhorna ghee.

In the West, Gujarat and Rajasthan are predominantly vegetarian but Maharashtra makes up for lack of a good chicken curry from the region. The flavorful pandhra or white curry and the fiery tambda rassas from Kolhapur are world famous. Even the Malvan coast boasts of delicious chicken curry served with crisp fried multiflour vadas called vade or rice flour bhakris called amboli.