RCI Hyderabad: Murgh/Gosht Tamatar (Lamb/Chicken with tomatoes)

Regional Cuisines of India (RCI) is the blogging event started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine, to celebrate the rich and diverse cuisines of India. It’s been a while since I had time to take part in what is probably my favourite event. This month we’re exploring the cuisine of the princely state of Hyderabad. Our host this month is Mona, from Zaiqa.

I know I should be making a byriani, the celebrated dish of the Royal Hyderabad, for this event. But the time is a little tight, so my second entry for this event is a simple, light and aromatic lamb curry with tomatoes, coriander and curry leaves. I made it twice in the last two weeks, the second  time with chicken (see photo). I think I prefer it with lamb, though. It goes really well with Hyderabadi Coriander and Mint Chutney.




Hyderabadi Lamb with



(Timatar Gosht)


SOURCE: Madhur Jaffrey’s ‘The Ultimate Curry Bible’


COOKING TIME: 1 – 1.5 h 

CUISINE: Indian – Hyderabadi



500 g boneless lamb, cubed

1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

6 cloves of garlic, peel and crushed

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp salt (or according to taste)

3 desert spoons of ghee

210 g chopped yellow onion

1 can tomatoes (or 450 g fresh tomatoes, peeled and crushed)

6 green chilies, chopped

15 – 20 fresh curry leaves

2 – 3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped



1. Marinate the meat with garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric and some salt for 30 minutes or longer.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the onions. Then, heat the oil to high medium heat. When hot (it sizzles when you put a wooden spoon in it), add onions and fry until brown.

3. Add the meat with its marinade and stir-fry for a minute or two. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook in its juices for another 8 – 10 min. Keep an eye on the pot, so the meat doesn’t burn. If it starts sticking badly, add a little water to the pan and stir.

4. Now add the tomatoes, the chilies, the curry leaves and coriander and bring to simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low, then cook for another 30 – 40 min or until the meat is done, and the tomatoes turned into a dark, luscious, thick sauce. Serve with rice or roti.



It’s worth seeking out fresh curry leaves (though use dried curry leaves, if you have to), because they make a difference to the flavour.

I might try this with fresh tomatoes next time.

The chilies are boiled in the sauce and therefore very very mild. I loved biting into them, though. I think I’ll try and add a few more next time, to add more heat to the dish.   



  Murgh Timatar – For the chicken version (pictured above), replace the lamb with the same amount of chicken. I used chicken thigh.


Murgh Masala – Chicken in Onion Tomato Gravy

Some people bake to relax; I make curry. This has become my habit of late. It’s the stirring of the onion that I find so relaxing, their mellow smell so warming, and their shapes glistening beautifully at the bottom of the pan. Then come the exciting heat of the chili and the seductive aromas of the wet and the dry spices. When the time comes to leave the gentle heat of the hob to do it’s magic, at the very end of cooking, I feel like new.

Some days just seem to rush past me, and I feel all tense, stiff and nervous. On one such day, I picked up Julie Sahni’s ‘Classic Indian Cookery’ at the library. I started reading it on the bus home, and simply couldn’t put it down. I haven’t read the whole book, but what I can tell now is that the book is very informative and full of interesting recipes. Julie is a wonderful teacher, too, and for example, her instructions on how to fry the onions properly are invaluable! I’m seriously considering buying this book.

That day, when I got home, I made this lovely flavoursome dish. The cooking did it’s magic, and I felt great afterwards. And  best of all, it was absolutely delicious!

According to Julie, this is a classic Punjabi dish. What I particularly like about this dish is the interesting addition of freshly ground cumin along the coriander just before serving, the slight smokiness of black cardamom, and the rich sauce with lots of onion and garlic. The recipe is below. I made some changes to it, and I also rewrote it slightly differently, incorporating what I’ve learnt about making curry, of Julie, of a friend, from books and from experience. Enjoy!





Murgh Masala – Chicken in Onion Tomato Gravy


SOURCE: adapted from Julie Sahni’s ‘Classic Indian Cookery’



CUISINE: North Indian – Punjabi

SERVES: 2 – 3



600 g chicken breast, cubed (or better even, use chicken thigh)

ghee (Julie uses vegetable oil)

315 g thinly sliced onions

1 tbsp finely chopped garlic

1.5 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger root

3 green finger chilies (my addition)

1 cassia stick, 7.5 cm long (Julie: Cinnamon)

2 black cardamom pods

1 – 2 green cardamom pods (my addition. J: use black or green)

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tin tomatoes (200 g), drained, chopped


250 ml boiling water


1/2 tbsp roasted ground cumin seeds

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves



1. Start with the onions. Peel the onions, and cut them in half, longitudinally. Then, cut off the tough ends at either end. Slice the onions finely. (They will look absolutely beautiful frying in the pan!)

2. Heat some ghee in pan. (I used my gorgeous new wide cast iron pan!)

3. Fry the onions on medium-high heat until they turn light brown, stirring pretty much constantly. This will take about 30 min. Do not skip this step, and don’t try to speed it up either, else you’ll burn the onions. This is really important. If the onions start burning, add a little water.

4. When the onions are light brown, add ginger, garlic and chili, and fry for another 5 minutes.

5. Add cinnamon and cardamom, until the spices are slightly puffed and begin to brown (about two minutes).

6. Add turmeric and cayenne pepper and stir rapidly for 10 – 15 s. Please be careful, turmeric burns easily.

7. Now add the chicken, and fry for a few minutes until the chicken is sealed and white all over. (There is a little water in the chicken, which will stop the burning of the spices. However, you may need to add a little water.) The onions will have started falling apart; this is the basis for the delicious, thick sauce that you’ll end up with.

8. Add tomatoes, salt and boiling water. Stir to mix, and reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked, and tender, and the gravy has thickened. This takes about 40 minutes. Check the dish during cooking, making sure it doesn’t get too dry or else it will burn. If this happens, add a little water. The dish should have plenty of thick, pulpy gravy at the end, and the oil will have started floating at the top. (At this stage, the excess oil is very easy to remove.)

9. Turn off the heat, and let the dish rest, covered, for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 before serving. I skipped this step, because I had no time for it, but if you can, try and do this. This is one of those dishes where flavour only improves with time.

10. Just before you’re ready to serve, roast the cumin seeds. To do this, heat the pan until you can feel the heat rising from it when you put hold your palm above it. If the heat is comfortable, add the cumin seeds, and toss until you get a lovely aroma coming out. Be careful not to burn the spices. When the cumin is done, take it out of the pan and put it in the mortar to cool. When it cools down, grind it with the pestle into powder.

11. Heat the curry thoroughly. Then, fold in the freshly ground cumin and chopped coriander leaves. Enjoy!

I served it with a pilaf, but plain rice and/or naan/chapati would also go well with this dish.




I used chicken breast, because that was all I had on hand, but chicken thigh would work better with this curry.

Julie fries the chicken in oil before frying the onion, and adds it together with the tomatoes, but I skipped this step, and fried the chicken later on with the onions to make it a little leaner. However, since ghee/fat is easy to spoon off later, I could have done it her way.


 Because of all I said above, it’s easy to guess that curry has become one of my comfort foods. As Meeta said, the spices ‘hug me from inside’, and invigorate me. Therefore, I’m sending this entry to Meeta’s Monthly Mingle; this month, the theme is ‘COMFORT FOODS’. Perfect.

I can’t wait to see what other people find comforting, too! If you want to know too, check Meeta’s blog after 4th February!




Burmese Chicken Curry (See-Pyan)

There have been a lot of changes recently. I’ve started a new job, and as a result, I have a lot less time. I haven’t forgotten my blog, though devoting time to it has become more difficult. I will still be posting, but not as often as before.

Here’s the Burmese chicken curry, as promised.


Burmese Chicken Curry (See-Pyan)


SOURCE: adapted from Madhur Jaffrey: ‘The Ultimate Curry Bible’


COOKING TIME: 20 min marinating + 40 min

CUISINE: Burmese

SERVES: 2 – 3



454 g chicken drumsticks

2 tsp hot curry powder (I used Madras curry powder)

1/2 tsp garam masala


1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic

2.5 cm or 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp paprika

groundnut oil

1/2 tin of chopped tomatoes (Madhur uses 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped)

1 tbsp* fish sauce (nam pla)

1 stick lemon grass (use the bottom 15 cm, lightly mashing the bulbous end)

               or 1 tsp ground lemon grass



I. Marinating the chicken

1. Place the chicken in a single layer in a wide dish. Sprinkle the curry powder, garam masala and salt over it, and rub them into the chicken.

2. Set aside for 20 minutes or longer, covering and refrigerating if necessary.

II. Making the curry

1. Pt the onions, garlic, ginger, cayenne and paprika into a blender and blend until smooth, adding a few tablespoons of water if needed.

2. Put the oil into a wide non-stick, lidded pan, and set on a medium-high heat.

3. When the oil is hot, add the paste from the blender to the oil, and fry for 6 – 7 min until the paste has darkened and reduced. Stir occasionally.

4. Add the chicken, and continue frying, stirring, for a further 3 – 4 mins, or until the chicken has become lightly browned.

5. Add the tomatoes, fish sauce and lemon grass, and stir for another 2 minutes.

6. Then add 125 water and bring to boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook gently for 25 minutes.

7. Remove the lid, increase the heat and reduce to the desired thickness. The oil should have risen to the top.

8. I served it with rice, garnished with coriander.



Very simple and easy to make and very tasty! Will make it again! There was lots and lots of delicious juice that was great with rice!



* Madhur used 1 tbsp of fish sauce for 1.15 kg of chicken, and I used the same amount for 1 lb  of chicken. It tasted ok, but it might have been a bit much. I’ll stick to Madhur’s quantities next time!





Barbara’s amazing chicken curry

 Barbara from Tigers & Strawberries is one of my favourite bloggers. Her writing is always inspirational and informative, her recipes creative and delicious. She is a trained chef, and food is both her calling and her passion. Please do check her fantastic blog!

Barbara makes this gorgeous chicken curry for her whole family to enjoy, including her adorable little babygirl (Kat in the title of the recipe). We loved it, too! It smelled and tasted absolutely amazing: I adored the masala, with its perfect balance of tastes – exceptional! I tweaked the curry a little to suit the tastes of two adults (by adding 5 green chilies), and changed the method slightly to make up for the lack of food processor/spice grinder (I used pestle and mortar only). I also fancied some black cardamom, so I added one, and it worked great! Here is my version, and below is the link to Barbara’s version.

I must admit I was a little skeptical about cooking onions in coconut cream, but I did try it, and it worked great. The onions turned out lovely and mellow, and I loved the cassia in it. I did have to add some ghee to fry the chicken, though, but it worked great!

This curry is fairly quick to make, with a bit of organisation. This is how I do it: 1. cut the onions and put all the whole spices together; 2. roast the spices; 3. fry the onions in coconut; 4. chop ginger, garlic and chicken; 5. add garlic and ginger to onions; 6. pound the whole spices; 7. add them to onions; 8. add chicken and fry, etc; 9. boil rice while the chicken is cooking.



Kat’s Chicken Curry


SOURCE: Adapted from Barbara’s recipe


COOKING TIME: 30 – 40 min

CUISINE: Indian-style

SERVES: 2 – 3



1 can coconut milk

1 big thinly sliced yellow onion
salt to taste
5 cm cassia stick
2.5 cm cube fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 large cloves fresh garlic, minced

5 green finger chilies

1 tbsp ghee

4 whole cloves
1 black cardamom pod

5 green cardamom pods
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2″ cubes
salt to taste
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped



1. Put the whole spices in a hot pan and roast until fragrant. Take them out of the pan and put in the mortar.

2. Scrape about 4 tablespoons of coconut cream off the top of the can of coconut milk. Melt it in a heavy-bottomed deep pan over medium heat. Add onion slices, and sprinkle with salt. Add cassia stick, and cook, stirring continually until the onions are medium brown.

3. Add the ghee, chilies, ginger and garlic and keep cooking, stirring, until the onions are dark reddish brown and fragrant. Meanwhile, pound the spices as finely as you can. Use a spice grinder if you have one.

4. Add the pounded spices, paprika, cayenne and turmeric to the onions and fry for 30 seconds.

5. Add the chicken pieces and stir. When they are half cooked and half still pink, add the rest of the coconut milk and stir well. Turn the heat down and simmer until the chicken is completely cooked through.


Add salt to taste, and stir in coriander leaves just before serving.



Delicious! Do make this gorgeous dish!

It is extremely flavourful, with a strong tinge of cardamom (I would even call this Cardamom Chicken!). It has a gorgeous yellow colour from the turmeric, and a wonderful smell and flavour from the cassia bark. I love pretty much anything with coconut, so this is a clear winner for me! If you like coconut, it will be a winner for you, too!



Sunday Roast Special!

Let me tell you about George. George is a funky, chunky kind of guy. A guy every girl likes having around the house. Especially around the kitchen. Or in the kitchen! 😉 You see, our George makes one mean Sunday roast! Chicken is his speciality – succulent, delicious, with golden crispy skin. Simply to die for. Leaves us breathless every time. And very very happy.

And the best of all is – every girl/boy can have a George! You see, George is our – rotisserie! 😀

He he! I bet you all thought George is my new heartthrob! Well maybe he is… This is one hell of a roast we’re talking about here!

I’m giving you three recipes in one tonight, three recipes for fantastic British-style Sunday roasts: Chicken with tarragon, and Lamb with rosemary + gravy. The first roast is made with our George’s help, and the other in the oven. Actually, both can be successfully made in the oven, so don’t worry if you don’t have a George. The gravy recipe may not be traditional, but it’s definitely tasty!

Which one do I prefer? Oh no, don’t make me chooose….. I love both!



Recipe 1


Roast Chicken with Tarragon Rub


SOURCE: Our George’s Owner Manual



CUISINE: British

SERVES: 3 – 4



1 whole chicken  (ours was 1 kg)

2 -3 tsp dried tarragon

1- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 – 2 tsp salt


1.  First, make a rub of equal quantities of dried tarragon, pepper and salt. Make about 2 – 3 tbsp in total. We went for extra super herby – delish!

   NOTE: It is suggested that you make 1 – 2 tbsp of rub per 500 g of meat.


2. Next rub the mixture into the chicken.

3. Then, put the chicken into the rotisserie, or onto a baking tray and into the oven.

4. How long you will roast it for depends on the size of your chicken. See below for suggestions.

  ROASTING TIMES: According to Delia, it’s 20 min per lb (450 g),   plus 10 –  20 min extra, at 190 C/Gas mark 5/375 F.


5. We did ours in George, so that made it really easy. We just shoved it in, and went off to do sth else. Minimum effort. That’s why we like our George! 😀 The only thing we did was to collect the juices at some point towards the end, which we used to make gravy!

6. When the chicken is done, take it out of the rotisserie/oven and leave for at least 15 min to stand before carving it. This is absolutely vital. This way, the juices will not evaporate as you cut the chicken, but they will stay inside, so your bird will remain juicy and succulent! While the chicken is roasting, you can make the gravy! See below for details.

Serve with roast potatoes and a few other vegetables (boiled broccoli, peas, carrots, corn, etc). Pour over some gravy. Take a forkful and put it in your mouth. Close your eyes and go mmmmmm! 🙂

Roast chicken



Recipe 2


Roast Lamb with Rosemary


SOURCE: My husband taught me this 🙂


COOKING TIME: 1 h 15 min min

CUISINE: British

SERVES: 3 – 4



1 kg lamb shoulder

a few sprigs of rosemary

freshly ground black pepper



1.  Preheat your oven to 190 C. Make incisions in the meat, and put pieces of rosemary in them. 

2. Wrap the lamb in aluminium foil and put on a roasting rack, placed in a roasting tray. This will keep the juices in the foil, and the meat will be lovely and tender.

3. Roast the meat 25 min per lb (454 g), plus 25 extra. In our case, that was 1 h 25 min. 15 minutes before the end of cooking, take out the lamb out of the oven. Carefully peel the foil, and let the juices out. Reserve the juices. You will need them to make gravy. Then, return the lamb to the oven, uncovered, so it browns nicely on the outside. You can whack the temperature up a bit now.

4. When the lamb is done, leave it to rest for 15 min before cutting. Meanwhile, make the gravy! 🙂





SOURCE: A friend



CUISINE: British

SERVES: 3 – 4





a glug of wine (red for the lamb, and white for the chicken)

meat juices from the roast

(if you don’t have enough juices, add some chicken/lamb/beef stock, too)


1.  Put the same amount of flour and butter together in a pan (make it non-stick, it will make your life easier).  

2. Put it on the hob and stir. The butter will start melting incorporating the flour into it, forming a thick past.

3. Slowly add other liquids, keep stirring!

4. Boil for a few minutes until the flour is cooked (you can’t taste it as much). Reduce to the pouring consistency. Serve warm.


For more British recipes on this blog, click here.


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