Confession: I tend to make the same dishes over and over again, especially in my slow cooker. It’s usually chili, a bean dish, or I’m cooking dried beans so I can freeze them for later use.
While I have a slow cooker cookbook full of some very tasty recipes, I’d seen several recipes online for Indian dishes. Where I grew up I became friends with a lot of Indian kids, so I’d go to parties and other gatherings where the tables were covered in all different kinds of curry, dahl and other dishes full of potatoes, cream, meat, vegetables. Years ago, Momcat and I appealed to one Indian friend’s mom for a small quantity of her family’s special curry powder blend, because store-bought curry powder just doesn’t cut it.
A few weeks ago we were due for a big storm in NorCal, and I decided the cold, wet weather made it the perfect time to try one of the Indian slow cooker entrees. I looked at a couple recipes for chicken tikka masala to get ideas for ingredients, and came up with a chicken curry that turned out rich and flavorful, just like the curries at my friends’ houses back in the day.
Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
- 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized chunks
- 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt (optional marinade)
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- ⅔ C yellow onion, diced
- ⅔ C red onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
- 2 T tomato paste
- 2 T curry powder, divided
- 1 t brown sugar
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- 2 t kosher salt
- Fresh cilantro (optional)
- 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt
Optional: The night before you make the curry, coat the chicken pieces in 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt – I used a large Ziploc bag – and refrigerate overnight. This yogurt marinade makes the chicken extra moist and flavorful.
Put chicken and tomatoes in slow cooker. Saute onion, garlic, ginger, tomato paste and 1 tablespoon curry powder in a small amount of vegetable oil until soft, then add to slow cooker and mix well with chicken and tomatoes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon curry powder, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt, stirring to combine. Cover and set cooker to High for 4 hours, or Low for 7-8 hours.
Before serving, add yogurt to curry. If you’re not serving the entire batch in one sitting, you may want to add the yogurt to individual servings. (I put a large spoonful of curry in a metal bowl, then mixed in about ¼ cup of yogurt.)
Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve over basmati or jasmine rice.
- Use only yellow onion.
- Use ¾ C heavy cream instead of yogurt prior to serving. You can do this about 15 minutes before it’s done cooking.
- To make this more tikka masala style, use garam masala instead of curry powder.