Creamy, tangy and slightly spicy, this dish might strike you as more Eastern European than Indian. But the seasoning will bring you back to the right continent.
The original recipe called for cooking down the liquid more than we've done here; we like having lots of sauce for dunking bread, and we found this method keeps the chicken tender.
Serve with warm naan or chewy flatbread. Adapted from "Anjum's New Indian," by Anjum Anand (Wiley, 2010).
>Chicken With Sour Cream and Red Bell Pepper
1 1/2 -inch piece ginger root
6 large cloves garlic
Splash plus 1 1/4 cups just-boiled water, or more as needed
1 medium onion
1 large red bell pepper
3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon red chili powder
1/4 cup regular or low-fat sour cream (do not use nonfat)
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala (Indian spice blend)
Peel the ginger and cut it crosswise into coins, then drop them into a blender along with the garlic and a splash of the hot water. Puree into a paste, adding water as needed.
Finely chop the onion. Stem and seed the bell pepper, then cut the flesh into 1-inch pieces. Finely chop the tomatoes, reserving their juices. Cut the chicken into 2-inch chunks, trimming off any fat.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan or saute pan over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the onion and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often, until it has picked up color. Stir in the ginger-garlic paste from the blender; once its water has evaporated (about 30 seconds), stir in the ground coriander, salt, chili powder and tomatoes; cover and cook for about 6 minutes to reduce the juices a bit. Add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes, stirring, then add the remaining 1 1/4 cups of hot water. Once the liquid has come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, add the pieces of bell pepper, then cover and cook for 10 minutes. The chicken should be almost cooked through.
Increase the heat to high; cook for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Add the sour cream and garam masala; mix well. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. The mixture should be creamy but not too thick; if you want it thinner, stir in a little of the hot water.
Divide among individual plates; serve hot. Makes 4 or 5 servings.
Per serving (based on 5, using low-fat sour cream): 270 calories, 33g protein, 8g carbohydrates, 12g fat, 3g saturated fat, 85mg cholesterol, 160mg sodium, g dietary fiber, 4g sugar.