This is a truly simple but delicious recipe I found on the another subcontinent forums. All it calls for is onions, green chilis, garlic, ginger, salt, a cinnamon stick, and chicken. This is the original recipe.
However, as usual I made a couple tweaks, but VERY minor: added a sprinkle of garam masala at the end and added some fresh lemon juice to enhance the flavors of the dish.
I’ve also made a couple variations: 1) add potatoes and 2) add bay leaves and cardamoms
I feel like with variation #2 the dish is actually a step away from being a simple korma — maybe just add some yogurt.
So here is how I make it:
2.5 lb chicken — I like using boneless skinless thighs to save time
2 small onions, chopped into small pieces or thinly sliced
2-3 “finger” chilis, finely chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp ginger paste
1 cinnamon stick – I use a whole stick, use less if you want
2 tbsp. oil
fresh lemon juice
Heat oil over medium-high heat. You can blend the onions, chilis, garlic, and ginger together into one paste if you want, but I add them separately. If you’re adding separately, put the onions in first, and cook until they turn translucent and almost golden. Add the chilis, ginger, and garlic, cook a few minutes. Add the cinnamon stick, cook another minute or so until you can smell the cinnamon.
Add the chicken pieces, try to brown all pieces. Add salt to taste. The mixture in the pan should be mostly dry now, and theoretically the onions and chicken should release plenty of liquid while cooking. I add a little water so stuff doesn’t stick — 1/2 cup at the most. Lower heat and cover, cooking until chicken is done — about 20 minutes or so.
Once the chicken is done, see if the gravy is thick or thin enough for you. Sprinkle some garam masala and squeeze some lemon juice to taste. Keep adjusting salt, garam masala, and lemon juice to taste until you like it. Let sit so the flavors all combine.