Lahori Chicken and Potato Curry

One of the most irritating parts of having a dairy allergy is that it can be difficult to go out to eat. When we go out, we usually stick to Asian restaurants. They are most often the safest when trying to avoid dairy, but you still have to be vigilant. Unfortunately, I cannot eat Indian cuisine out. While I love cooking, but sometimes I’m just not in the mood and my favorite curry dish does take some time to make. It is sooo worth it, though.  This chicken and potato dish is fabulous, layers of subtle flavors that build to one big cohesive finish. The homemade curry in this dish is very similar to garam masala, so if you do not have the time or a spice grinder (aka coffee grinder) then you can definitely substitute store bought garam masala.  You can find it in the spice section of most major grocery stores. I really do recommend you try making your own at least once if you can.  
You can use a whole 4-pound roaster chicken cut into 8-10 pieces, but I prefer using skinless or boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
Like many of my one-pot recipes, I like to double the recipe and put some in the freezer for a later date. One day I will get a stand up freezer for the garage and fill it with all kinds of goodies for when I don’t feel like cooking.  
*If you do decide to double the recipe, do NOT double the amount of lemon juice you add. It will make it too lemony.
8 chicken thighs (boneless, skinless are fine)
1 pound small red potatoes, cut into  1½” cubes
3 tbsp olive oil
¾ tsp turmeric, divided
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1½ medium onion, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic
2-inch piece of fresh peel ginger**, roughly chopped
1 cinnamon stick
12 green cardamom pods
9 whole cloves
10 black peppercorns
1 dried red chile
1 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 fresh jalapeño or serrano chile, cut in half and seeded
2 large tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 cup water
½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
juice of one lemon
  • Combine the cinnamon stick, green cardamom pods, cloves, peppercorns, dried red chile, coriander seeds, and cumin in a small dry skillet. ***
  • Toast the seasonings over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until you can really smell them. Be careful because it’s easy to burn them.
  • Remove from burner and cool.
  • Finely grind the spices in a spice grinder.
  • In a very large zip top bag or a large bowl, combine and mix the chicken, potatoes, ½ tsp turmeric, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, and a ¼ tsp of salt.
  • Place the ginger, garlic and onions in a food processor and finely mince them.
  • In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the spice mixture, the onion mixture, the jalapeño, and 1 tsp salt to the pot.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes until the onions are translucent and soft, stir occasionally.
  • Remove the jalapeño.
  • Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and ¼ tsp turmeric to the onion mixture. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the onion mixture to the food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Heat the remaining oil in the pot at medium-high heat. Add the chicken and potatoes.
  • Cook for 3-5 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the mayonnaise and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Add the tomato/onion mixture and water to the chicken.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and partially covered.
  • Cook uncovered for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in lemon juice and cilantro.
  • Serve with basmati rice and dairy free naan.
**Fresh ginger should be smooth and firm with shiny skin.
***If you prefer to use store bought garam masala, you will need 3½ 4 tbsp garam masala.
It’s been a while, but the last time I looked Trader Joe’s had dairy free naan or you can use dairy free flat bread such as this: