Classic Chicken Curry with Chef Preeti Mistry of Juhu Beach Club


We got busy cooking at the kitchen of our newest non-profit partner, Youth Radio’s CHEF Program. Our guest chef today, Preeti Mistry of Juhu Beach Club, taught us one of her all-time favorite recipes: Classic Chicken Curry (see recipe below) with the generously donated (and delicious) chicken from Tara Firma Farms.

We learned about so many spices, some of which we’ve never heard of, and all that it takes to put together a curry, a blend of spices.

While this recipe definitely isn’t quick, it’s one that’s both comforting and impressive, perfect for when you have some friends or family over. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!


Juhu Beach Club Classic Chicken Curry with Basmati Rice and Raita


Chicken Marinade

  • 5 chicken legs (no skin)
  • 2 Tbls garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbls ginger, minced
  • salt

JBC Chicken Masala

  • 3 Tbls whole coriander seed
  • 1 Tbls whole cumin seed
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • ½ stick cinnamon
  • ½ tsp brown mustard seeds
  • ½ cup dried chile de arbol
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns

Chicken Curry

  • ½ cup garlic cloves
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled
  • ¼ cup Serrano chiles, minced
  • 2 inches fresh turmeric
  • ½ bunch cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 Tbls neutral cooking oil (canola, vegetable, grapeseed, etc.)
  • 1 yellow onion, julienned
  • 4 cups green cabbage, julienned
  • 4 cups green cabbage, julienned
  • 4 cups whole tomatoes, canned

Basmati Rice

  • 3 cups white basmati rice
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbls salt
  • 1 Tbls neutral oil

Cucumber Raita

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 tsp toasted ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground yellow mustard
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 cups whole plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbls salt



Marinate Chicken:

Remove skin from chicken and separate drum from thigh to make 10 pieces. Marinate in garlic, ginger, and salt and set aside.

Make Masala:

Measure out all the spices onto a sheet pan. Put in 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes until beginning to slightly smoke and turn a little brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. When fully cooled, grind in small spice grinder in batches until all spices are fully ground. Mix well and keep in an airtight container for up to four weeks.

Prep Basmati Rice: see below for rice recipe

Make Chicken, Rice and Raita:

In a food processor, combine garlic, ginger, chiles, and turmeric with water and puree. When well combined, add cilantro and process until all of the mixture is pureed.

Heat oil in large shallow pot on high heat. Add onions and cabbage, season with salt. Stir often until vegetables begin to soften and brown slightly, about 5 minutes. Add spice blend and continue stirring to combine with vegetables. Some amount of spices will stick to the bottom of the pot. This is totally ok. After about 5 minutes, add garlic/ginger puree. Keep stirring and use the liquid in the mix to release stuck spices on bottom of pot.

Once mixture has begun to cook. About 5 minutes, add whole tomatoes. Using the back of a large wooden or metal spoon, break up tomatoes slightly. When the juices come to a boil, add marinated chicken pieces. Make sure all chicken is almost fully covered in liquid, if not, add a little water to the pot. Cover pot, and reduce temperature to medium. Cook for at least 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook rice (see recipe below) and assemble the raita (see recipe below).

After about 20 minutes, check on the chicken legs by lifting one out of the pot. Chicken should be pulling away from the bone and fork tender. If it is not ready, continue cooking until chicken is fully cooked. Remove chicken legs from pot and bring sauce to a boil, stirring frequently. You want the sauce to be thick, not watery. At which point, return the chicken to the pot, and turn off heat.

Basmati Rice:

Prep Rice: Measure out rice and run under cold water to remove excess starch. Cover with cold water and set aside for 15-20 minutes.

Cook Rice: When rice is finished soaking, strain off excess water. Heat medium sized saucepan on medium heat, add oil, turmeric, and salt. Add rice and cover with water coming up about 1 centimeter from the top of the rice. Increase heat to high and bring water to boil. When boiling water reaches the top of the rice, and you can see the rice, cover the pot and reduce to low heat. Let steam about 15 minutes.

Remove lid and check for doneness: there should be no water at the bottom of the pot and the rice should be evenly cooked.

Cucumber Raita:

Wash cucumber and grate on a box grater, using the largest side. Strain off excess liquid. Sprinkle the cucumber with cumin and mustard. Let sit for about 2 minutes. Fold in yogurt, cilantro, and salt. Taste and add more salt if needed.

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