As I thumbed through my grandmother’s old cookbooks one evening looking for inspiration, one recipe in particular jumped out at me: Maharani Chicken Curry (btw, “maharani” means “princess” – and it’s a term often used for the wife or widow of a maharajah). My husband and I LOVE Indian food. I mean, we really love it. We might be tempted to eat it every day, actually…except the stuff you get at the restaurants is pretty expensive. This, however, is amazingly inexpensive in comparison and tastes just about the same, imho.
I make chicken in the Crock-Pot a lot. It seems like I’m never home or am busy with the kids or with writing and editing or a million other different things. Some days, I just don’t have much time for cooking. I’ll usually make this on Saturday when hubby’s home to help with the girls, and I can spend a little extra time in the kitchen. We almost always have a lot of chicken left over from Crock-Pot Chicken night, so this has become my go-to Saturday afternoon lunch for my husband and me. The girls won’t eat it, so I heat them up a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli. They just miss out! 🙂
Here’s what you’ll need, and what you’ll need to do, to make the curry:
- 1 pound of chicken, cooked and shredded
- ¼ cup butter or margarine
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp spicy curry powder
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
- Slice the margarine or butter and melt over medium high heat in a 2-quart saucepan.
- Shred the leftover chicken (if not already shredded) and add to the saucepan.
- Stir in onion and garlic powder and ginger and saute for about 5-10 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, cumin, curry, red pepper, and black pepper.
- Cook over low heat for 3 minutes
- Blend in yogurt.
- Simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve immediately.
Now, at this point, you’ll have a delicious chicken curry. The first time I made this, I served it over jasmine rice. The second time I made it, my husband suggested adding the cooked rice to the pan, and that’s how I ended up with the chicken curry “casserole” pictured above.
Here’s how I almost always cook my rice (basically because I only have one working stove burner right now…or at least only one stove burner I feel safe using), and that one is busy cooking the curry. This also gives you something to do while you’re waiting for the curry to simmer.
- Put 4 cups of water and 2 cups of jasmine rice in a large microwavable bowl.
- Add 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
- Heat on high for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the microwave (be careful, the bowl’s going to be hot!) and stir the rice.
- Put the bowl back in the microwave and heat on half power (Level 5) for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the microwave and stir again.
- Let sit for about 5 minutes, and then stir into the saucepan with the chicken curry.
Spoon the casserole out onto plates lined with lettuce leaves and tomato wedges, and enjoy!