Kalonji Chicken

March 15, 2010

Kalonji Chicken

If you make this, it will make you happy. It’s a curried dish of chicken*, full of flavour. Be warned, your home will smell like a curry house for about a week, but it’s worth it. You will likely need to take a trip here to pick up some some spices. While you’re in the neighbourhood, take a browse. There are all sorts of gorgeous fabrics that are so affordable. They’re tempting, but you probably don’t need any. Yes, you could buy a length to drape on your table for your Indian feast because after you make this you will want to double the recipe and make it again for all of your friends. It’s that good, I tell you. But a length of fabric? You can borrow mine, I keep it folded up neatly in a trunk. Also, while in the neighbourhood, you will be tempted to acquire interesting pots and vessels and a tiffin for your lunch of leftovers.

I would like to have an Indian potluck soon, but I’m calling this dish. You can bring something else. I’ll unfold my shimmery fabric and we can feast. I can’t wait, it will be like the old days when I had loads of time.

Serves 6

3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided

3 medium onions, grated

2 tablespoons kalonji, also known as nigella

2 tablespoons cumin seed

6 cloves garlic, grated

5″ fresh ginger, peeled and grated

2 – 796 ml tins of tomatoes

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 tablespoon garam masala

1/4 to 1 teaspoon cayenne, use with caution, start with a little and increase slowly to desired heat

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, sliced thinly

1 cup frozen peas

Okay, this is what you need to do. Haul out your food processor to grate the onions. If you don’t have a food processor, this is a tear inducing task. Melt two tablespoons of the coconut oil in a medium-sized non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add grated onions and fry, stirring often, for about 20 minutes. You want to get this panful of onion and its juices golden brown and delicious. Meanwhile, in a large pan, melt the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil over medium heat. Add the kalonji and let them sizzle for one to two minutes, then add the cumin seeds and fry for thirty seconds. Don’t wash your food processor yet. Throw in the six, yes six, cloves of garlic and ginger and grate. Add the ginger and garlic to the fragrant and sizzling seeds. Don’t forget about your browning onions, stir well to ensure that they are not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Return to the seedy ginger and garlic pan and tip in the two tins of tomatoes. Simmer for ten minutes or so, I think your onions should be just about done at this point. Scrape these into your tomato mixture and add the salt and spices. Bring to a low simmer and then add the sliced chicken breast and cook for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through. If you would like to add frozen peas, do so now. Take care not to overcook, you can easily dry out your chicken if you get all paranoid. Serve over a little steamed brown basmati rice. Delish, right?

*PS – are you a vegetarian? You can still make this! Substitute a block of medium firm tofu or a tin of chick peas for the chicken.

Pretty Kalonji


7 Responses to “Kalonji Chicken”

  1. katie said

    gorgeous! looks delicious…

  2. Dad said

    I don’t know what I should bring, besides my appetite and Mom.

  3. jevanshead said

    A few things:

    Firstly great post!

    Secondly I must have a Tiffen!. How cool would it be if I brought my lunch in a Tiffen everyday. On second thought, how cool would it be if I brought my lunch any day.

    Finally I guess it goes without saying that I would bring my world famous Naan bread.

    • dawnegourley said

      Your naan bread is as secret as it is famous… I’d love if you shared your recipe. Is it gluten-free?

  4. Cole Ole said

    I made this dish tonight and it was delicious. I went a little overboard on the Cayenne so it was HOT.

    Great job, once again Dawne!!!

    • dawnegourley said

      Thanks Cole! The heat of cayenne can range from mild to HOT, so next time just use a little at first and increase from there.

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