Neutral oil – 1 tbsp
Chicken, skinless boneless thighs, cubed – 2 lbs.
Onion – ½, finely diced
Ginger – 1 inch
Garlic – 3 cloves
Mint leaves – ½ cup, packed
Cilantro leaves – 1 cup, packed
Birds eye chili pepper – 1, deseeded and veins removed
Yogurt, plain (full fat) – ½ cup
Water – ¼ cup (to add as needed to thin the sauce)
Turmeric – ¼ tsp
Salt – to taste, start with 2 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tbsp
Coriander – ½ tbsp
**Kashmiri mirchi powder – 1 tsp
Thinly sliced onion
Pan with lid
Mortar and pestle
- Crush the ginger and garlic to a paste like consistency. I use a mortar and pestle, but you can use a (wet) spice grinder as well. Set aside.
- Blend the cilantro leaves, mint leaves, chili pepper, and yogurt until it looks like a bright green smoothie. If it is too thick, add some water to thin it to a pour consistency. Note: if you’d like the curry to have less “heat,” use half the chili pepper. Set the blended green sauce aside.
- Set pan on stove and when hot, add oil
- Add finely diced onions and sauté.
- Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté to incorporate with the onions, making sure the paste doesn’t brown or burn, as that would impart a bitter taste to the curry.
- When the onions turn golden, add salt and stir.
- Add the cubed chicken pieces and stir to coat.
- Now add in the ground spices – turmeric, coriander, cumin, and mirchi powder.
- Sauté until the chicken is seared and coated in the mix of spices and mostly cooked.
- Pour the blended green yogurt sauce into the par-cooked chicken and stir.
- Add water if the curry is too thick.
- Cover the pan with a lid and allow the chicken to braise in the green sauce until it is fully cooked and tender.
- Garnish with sliced onion rings and enjoy hot with warm basmati rice or naan.
Notes and Instructions
*While it wouldn’t quite be “hariyali chicken,” vegans can substitute tofu for the chicken and plant-based yogurt for the yogurt.
**Kashmiri mirchi powder is dried Kashmiri red chilies (mirchi = chili). It has a milder flavor profile (less heat) while being intensely red in color. It is used in Indian cuisine for a milder-tasting curry. You can substitute with paprika (not smoked) or cayenne if hard to procure.
Recipe and photo credit: Vinola V. Munyon