I love a good curry with side dish of Bombay potatoes (Bombay aloo). My version of chicken bhuna combines chicken and potatoes to make it a quick and easy one-pan meal. And as a bonus I’ve included instructions for making your own naan bread to wipe the last remnants off your plate!
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One-pan chicken bhuna and bombay potatoes
Whenever I go to an Indian restaurant I always order a bowl of Bombay potatoes along with my main meal (plus the obligatory naan bread of course). I just love Bombay potatoes. But when it comes to making them at home it is so time-consuming, especially when you’re making a curry at the same time. So when I made this chicken bhuna the other day I thought I’d try combining the curry with the potatoes. And guess what? It worked. All the flavours of the chicken bhuna, and the bombay aloo in one pan.
For those of you who do not know, Bhuna refers more to the way of cooking a curry, rather than the flavour of the spices. The spices are mixed to a paste, normally with peppers and onions, and gently fried to release the flavours. The meat is then added and cooked in it’s own juices, and the resultant dish has very little sauce. And because the chicken is cooked in the spices, all the flavours infuse into the chicken, giving you the most succulent and tender chicken.
Bombay potato is a curried potato dish, flavoured with lots of Indian spices, but like the Bhuna, it has very little sauce. So to combining the two in one pan makes a lot of sense. Two dishes in one, but with half the effort.
And of course, you can’t eat a curry without a slice of naan bread to mop up the juices. So I’ve included an easy recipe for homemade naan to round off your meal perfectly.
This chicken bhuna is quite a spicy dish, so if a hot curry isn’t quite your thing, just adjust the curry powder and chili to your own taste. You’ll still get all the lovely flavours, but without the heat.
Just look at how well these potatoes have turned into a thick Bombay aloo!
Ingredients you will need
You can get the complete list of ingredients and full instructions on how to make this recipe on the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
For the chicken bhuna you will need these ingredients.
Two large thighs per person should be sufficient, unless you have a very large appetite, in which case, you will need three chicken thighs each. Try to get skinless thighs. If you can’t, just remove the skin yourself before cooking. If you prefer to use boneless thighs, that is fine, or you can use thighs still on the bone. It doesn’t really matter.
The secret to a good chicken bhuna is to make a paste of all the ingredients, using your food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can just chop everything up very finely, but of course, it will take a lot longer.
Put all these ingredients ito your food processor and pulse to a nice fine paste:
- 1 large onion – quartered
- l red pepper – seeds removed
- 2 tomatoes – quartered
- 1 teaspoon chopped red chili – if you don’t have fresh chili you can use chili paste, or chili flakes. This is also where you adjust the heat of the curry, just use more or less chili to your own preference.
- 2 cloves garlic – if you do’t have fresh garlic, use the equivalent amount of garlic paste.
- A thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, or you can use 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 2 teaspoons hot curry powder – this is another place where you can adjust the heat. Use less hot curry powder, or use a mild or medium curry powder.
- 1 teaspoon each of garam masala, dried ground corriander, dried ground cumin and turmeric
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pinch of cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
You will also need sufficient potatoes for the number of people you are serving and 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil for frying the spices and a few sprigs of fresh corriander for stirring in at the end. For the potatoes, use a potato that will hold it’s shape and have a firm bite. Don’t use potatoes that you would normally use for making mashed potatoes. I like to use a Maris Piper. I find the red varieties like russet are too floury. Remember, bombay potatoes should have a nice firm texture.
This last ingredient is to my own personal taste and you can leave it out if you wish. I love a little sweetness with my curry, so I always tip in a handful of frozen peas 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Definitely not an authentic ingredient, but down to personal preference.
For the naan bread you will need the following:
- 140g self-raising flour. If you don’t have self-raising flour you can use plain flour and add 2 teaspoons baking powder.
- 2 tablespoons garlic salt or dried garlic flakes – of course, if you prefer plain naan bread you can leave the garlic out.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 25g butter
- Half a cup of water (approximately)
How to make chicken bhuna with bombay potatoes
- Remove the skin from the chicken and trim off any visible fat.
- Peel and chop the potatoes into approximately 1″ pieces and set them aside in a bowl of water until you need them.
- Put all the ingredients for the curry paste into a food processor and pulse to a fine paste. The onions and peppers should be about the size of match heads (image 1 above).
- Heat the sunflour oil in a large frying pan (with a lid) and then add the curry paste, and fry gently for about 3 minutes (image 2 above).
- Now add 1/2 cup of water and stir through, then place the chicken pieces in the sauce. Cover with a lid and allow to simmer for 20 minutes (image 3 above). Check the moisture content. The end result should be quite a thick curry sauce. If you think you need more water you can add at this stage. I found that I didn’t need to add more water.
- Drain the water from the chopped potatoes and add the potatoes to the curry in the pan (image 4 above). Cover with a lid and simmer for another 20 minutes until the potatos are soft and the sauce has reduced. If the sauce is too runny, remove the lid about 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time so that some of the moisture can evapourate slightly.
- If you are adding peas, this would be a good time to add them.
- Chop up the fresh corriander, stir through, and serve.
How to make naan bread
A good curry deserves a good naan bread so you can mop up all the delicious juices.
- Place all the ingredients for the naan bread into a mixing bowl and rub together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the water and mix with a knife until he mixture starts to come together.
- Tip out onto a floured surface and knead for about 4 minutes until the dough forms a smooth ball.
- Break of golf-ball sized pieces of the dough, flatten with your hands until the dough is approximately 1/8 inch thick (about the thickness of a one pound coin) and then fry in a dry pan until brown on both sides and cooked through. If you place a lid on the frying pan while the naan is browning, the naan will be less crispy as the steam will keep the naan softer.
- Brush with melted butter and serve.
Don’t forget to check out my handy Cookery Conversion Calculator if you want to convert any of your recipe measurements from grams to cups, ounces, tablespoons or millilitres and vice versa. You can also use the calculator for converting oven temperatures between Fahrenheit, Celsius and Gas marks.
If you live at a high altitude you may find you need to adjust your baking recipes to compensate for this. You can read all about it in this post on baking at high altitudes.
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Recipe – Chicken Bhuna with Bombay Potatoes and homemade naan bread
Chicken Bhuna with Bombay Potatoes and homemade naan
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 8 – 12 skinless chicken thighs (bone-in) allow 2 thighs per person or 3 for larger appetites
- 2 – 3 large potatoes cut into 2cm chunks
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander
- ½ – 1 cup frozen peas optional
- 2 large onions quartered
- 1 large red pepper seeds removed and choppen into chunks
- 3 medium tomatoes quartered
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
- 1 inch fresh ginger peeled and grated
- 2 tablespoons hot curry powder use less if you don't want too much heat
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chopped red chili or use chili paste (and once again, adjust this according to how much heat you want)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1 pinch cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cups (140g) self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt or dried garlic flakes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 oz (25g) butter
- ½ teaspoon salt only if using garlic flakes
- ½ cup water
- extra melted butter for brushing on the cooked naan
- Remove the skin from the chicken and trim away any visible fat or sinews.
- Peel the potatoes and chop them into approximately 2cm pieces. Set them aside in a bowl of water.
- Place all the ingredients or the spice paste into a food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
- Heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan (with a lid) and add the spice paste. Fry gently for 3 minutes, stirring all the time.
- Add ½ cup of water and stir, then arrange the chicken pieces in the sauce. Cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and add to the pan. Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft. If the sauce is too runny, remove the lid for the last 5 minutes to allow some of the moisture to evapourate.
- If you are going to be adding frozen peas, add them now and stir through.
- Stir in the fresh chopped corriander.
- Place all the ingredients for the naan bread into a mixing bowl and rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until you have the texture of fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the water and mix with a knife until the mixture starts to come together. Don't add all the water at once. Add it gradually – you may not need it all.
- Tip out onto a floured surface and kead for about 4 minutes until the dough forms a smooth ball.
- Cover with clingfilm and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
- Break off golf-ball sized pieces of dough and flatten with your hands to about 1/8 inch thick.
- Place in a dry ungreased frying pan over a medium heat and allow to brown on both sides. Do not let the pan get too hot or the outside will burn betore the inside has had time to cook..
- Brush with melted butter and serve.
- If you don’t have self-raising flour you can use plain flour and add 2 teaspoons of baking powder.
- For a softer naan, keep the lid on the frying pan while the naan is browning
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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