Cut chicken into pieces as
desired (I like bite-sized chunks); wash. Pat dry, set aside.
(or oil) in deep skillet or heavy stockpot; add onions, garlic and
gingerroot. Sauté until well browned over medium to medium high heat. Mix in
tomato sauce, and the ground cumin,
coriander, turmeric, cayenne, paprika and salt.
Simmer for just a few minutes
until oil begins to separate from the spices.
spinach; simmer over a medium-low
flame for 10-15 minutes, adding a little water if needed. Add chicken; cook
until chicken is done (maybe only 5-8
minutes, don't overcook). Whisk in heavy cream and garam masala; heat
until cream is warmed through.
Serve hot with steamed
basmati rice and naan bread.
is adapted from the original recipe of
Raghavan Iyer, instructor
of Indian cooking class that I took at Byerly's, March 14, 1994
- www.byerlys.com. Raghavan is the author
of Betty Crocker's Indian Home Cooking and also The
Turmeric Trail: Recipes and Memories from an Indian Childhood. He is
an exceptional teacher, a remarkably quiet and gentle man who owns a catering
business in Minneapolis.)
Notes: You can buy
ghee in Indian or Asian grocery
stores in pint or quart-sized jars if you
don't want to make your own. Also,
I grind all of
the spices together in a second coffee grinder that
I keep just for that purpose.
The best flavor comes if you heat the whole spices (I use a small non-stick
frying pan) first, then put everything into the grinder together. I do the
same for my garam masala. Indian cooking is best when whole spices are
ground in small amounts just before using - I recommend that you never make
big batches of the garam masala to keep on hand, always make fresh.