Vij Family's Chicken Curry

My first time cooking curry from scratch was with Vij's: Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine. I can't pretend that my version was very elegant, but I was definitely inspired by Vij's thorough instructions and delicious recipe. I was a little bit worried that I wouldn't be able to find all of the exotic ingredients for the Vij Family's Chicken Curry, but I had no trouble finding every last spice. Although the recipe calls for a stick of cinnamon, I pinched my pennies and just used the powdered cinnamon waiting in my cupboard at home. Within moments of cooking, my apartment was filled with the aromas of an Indian kitchen. My dinner guest could smell a new scent in the air each time I added a different spice to the increasingly colourful mixture. This recipe leaves the taste of India in the air and perfectly tender chicken on your plate with just the right amount of spice.

Vij Family's Curry from Vij's: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine by Vikram Vij

1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups finely chopped onions (2 large)
3-inch stick of cinnamon
3 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 Tbsp chopped ginger
2 cups chopped tomatoes (2 large)
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
3 lbs chicken thighs, bone in
1 cup sour cream, stirred
2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (including stems)

Heat oil on medium heat for 1 minute. Add onions and cinnamon, and saute for 5-8 minutes, until onions are golden. Add garlic and saute for another 4 minutes. Add ginger, tomatoes, salt, black pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala and cayenne. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the oil separates from the masala. Remove and discard skin from the chicken thighs. Wash thighs and add to the masala. Stir well. Cook chicken thighs for 10 minutes, until the chicken looks cooked on the outside. Add sour cream and water and stir well. Increase the heat to medium-high. When curry starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times, until chicken is completely cooked. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Cool curry for at least half an hour. Transfer cooled chicken to a mixing bowl. Peal the chicken meat off the bones. Discard the bones and stir chicken back into the curry. Just before serving, heat curry on medium heat until it starts to boil lightly. Stir in cilantro.