Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Curry Post-O!

Why is your food often so yellow, is a question I get sometimes. I can only conclude that I have a generous hand with the turmeric but sometimes it's too much even for me. Recently, when I marinated this chicken for a curry, the recipe asked for a teaspoon but I suspect I used way more, because the chicken began to smell of turmeric. And my heart began to quake. Because as good as turmeric is, an overdose of it in anything can be very trying.

It must have been the two-hour marination, because the smell miraculously disappeared from the end-product and it was gobbled down by The Eaters, who didn't have anything more elevating to say than "It's alright" amidst all the wolfing. Only when they were asked.

I got this recipe from a book called Cooking With Chicken by Kamal Mehta. This recipe is called Peekoo Posto Chicken. I wonder if Peekoo is the person who provided the recipe! Posto is the poppy seed, which is a key ingredient in this recipe. I made only one substitution - used oil instead of ghee - and one omission - left out the sugar.

Chicken: 1 kg, lean meat
Onions: 2 large, chopped
Garlic: 6 cloves
Green chilli: 4
Ginger: 5 cm piece
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Curds/Yoghurt: 1.5 cups
Poppy seed: 1.5 tbsp, ground to paste/powder
Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
Oil: 2 tbsp
Cinnamon: 4 cm
Cloves: 6
Green cardamom: 10
Salt, to taste
Water: 1/2 cup

Grind the garlic, chillies and ginger to a paste. Mix it with the curds, turmeric, poppy seed and coriander powders and marinate it in this for at least two hours. (The recipe said 6 hours.)

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Let them splutter, and add the onions and fry till golden brown.

Add chicken, salt and the marinade. Cover and cook on medium flame till all the juices come out.

Now increase the flame and fry till reddish in colour. (This 'reddening' didn't happen to me, so I gave up trying.)

Add half a cup of water and over a very slow fire, simmer for 10 minutes.

This entry goes to Barbara at Winos and Foodies, who's conducting the LiveSTRONG With A Taste of Yellow event, an official event of the LiveSTRONG Day, an initative of the Lance Armstrong Foundation.


  1. Turmeric... well Sachin is always cribbing I don't use enough!

  2. Aww!That curry doesn't look overly yellow. It looks perfect. And I am sorry if u couldn't comment on my blog. Can u tell me what it says when u try to do so? And by the way, come participate in my event :D

  3. I do an overdose of turmeric + chilli powder :)

  4. I like this. Doesnt look like rocket science. and i am seriously running out of chicken recipes.

  5. I have a stringent hand with turmeric. Most of the times its ardly visible. Poppy seed is a magic ingredient to turn anyhing creamy enough. This curry looks exotic. With piping hot rice and a rasam oh Sra, I am drooling!

  6. It looks yellow indeed. A NON dish, i am sure going to try this, looks yumm.

  7. Ha ha .. love the play of words in the title, sra! Curry looks lovely.

  8. That is a delicious chicken recipe. Curds! that is my ingredients in curries too recently.

    Sometimes that turmeric overload bothers me as well. But I go overboard any way.

  9. i am always sensitive to turmeric..early disasters make me wary.. 1 tsp is a lot!!
    this looks like a kurma, more than a curry!

  10. I tend to use either too much or too little of turmeric in my dishes.

  11. I too use turmeric freely..posto looks amazing, i m hungry now!!!

  12. Try to change the spoon in ur turmeric box! Curry looks delish!

  13. These look really good! I dont use turmeric a lot cos my granny used to say that too much turmeric is bad for eyesight...I dont know how far its true but I follow that :) Your chicken looks delicious..not yellowy at all!

  14. Thank you Sra. It looks wonderful. I can use the photo from your post.

  15. I am very generous with turmeric too. It adds such a nice dark color to sauteed chicken and veggies. Love this chicken recipe, addition of ground poppy seeds is a recent discovery for me and I am loving it.

  16. i dont know why i always thought u were vegetarian!

  17. yeah sometimes too much of turmeric the dish can smell of it..but mostly its with the veggies...meat normally doesn't smell that way in the end..nice title!..

  18. Sra,
    Posto-chicken looks so delicious to me :))and i am quite generous when it comes to adding turmeric/holod in bengali ...and what smell?..i dont want my curries to look pale and boiled :)...
    hugs and smiles

  19. Love that title.....chicken recipe looks delectable....

  20. Oh, what a wonderful entry for Taste of Yellow. I'm putting this on my list to try.


  21. Another reminder that i need to try out posto chicken. it has been on my mind for many years now, & i have been doing mustard to methi, but bypassing the posto for some unknown reason. sounds delicious.

  22. I never cook NV without turmeric,the color plus all the health benefits.The masala ,yogurt and poppy must make this a delectable chicken dish :)

  23. Lovely post! Dropping by...

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  24. Mmmm, curry. is there a dish that is more comforting?
    looks so rich and flavorful...I'll try this soon..
    Thank you for sharing the recipe :)

  25. Sounds almost like the posto chicken we make and doesn't look overtly yellow at all. Nice color

  26. Hi Sra, Same here..That's why while adding turmeric, my heart skips a beat! :) This curry looks so yummy..I can have chicken curry anyday..feel like grabbing some right now. How do you grind your poppy seeds? I use coffee grinder..was wondering if there was a simpler method!

  27. Hi, thank you all for the comments.
    MEwC, the page just freezes, I can't ever access the comment box.
    Pragyan, for the longest time I didn't use any poppy seed because it would never grind well in the grinder. (I hadn't discovered roasting them ahead would help.) Then I acquired a coffee grinder and would use that but now they're irreparably damaged, so what I do is that I roast a large quantity (for it to reach the grinder's blades) well, and proceed - not as effective as a coffee grinder but better than grinding them without any roasting.

  28. So I guess there's no simpler method I know of :)

  29. Dear sra,

    I have been an avid reader of your blog and you've had me hooked onto it from one particular blog post that I'll never ever forget. Well let's just say it was something to do with convexity and such. I was really laughing hard after that post.
    You write charmingly and I can't get enough of your recipes and your writing!

    After much thought and deliberation I've finally started one of my own. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

  30. Sra, I read from IndoSunGod that by adding one or two grains of sea salt while grinding would help with poppy seeds. I have tried it and it works!


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