I often get asked for Indian slow cooker recipes and this particular one is always a sure fire winner -- my Slow Cooker Indian Chicken is perfect for those days when you just don’t have the time to make a delicious home cooked meal. For those of you who are unfamiliar with a slow cooker – it is basically an electrical kitchen appliance that cooks food at an extremely low temperature over a period of several hours (low & slow is the key here). So if you’re super busy and just don’t have time to spend in the kitchen, then this is just the recipe for you. This recipe works best in a 3-4 qt size slow cooker.
I highly recommend using bone-in/skinless chicken thighs or chicken legs for this recipe, you can also make this recipe with other types of meat such as lamb if you prefer. This dish could just as easily be made on the stovetop if you prefer – to hasten the cooking time, simply use bite size boneless/skinless chicken pieces. Also, add only 1˝-2 cups of chicken broth or water as needed. The dish will be done in about 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through.
SLOW COOKER INDIAN CHICKEN
2-2˝ lbs of bone-in/skinless chicken thighs or chicken legs
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, finely minced
1˝” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
1 bay leaf
˝ tsp red chili flakes, to taste
˝ tsp smoked Spanish paprika
˝ tsp turmeric (haldi)
1 tsp ground cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp ground coriander powder
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 can of cooked beans (15 oz size, such as chickpeas, kidney beans, navy beans, cannellini beans…)
˝-1 cup low sodium chicken broth (or you can add water), as needed
1 cup plain yogurt
salt & pepper, to taste
2-3 tbsp oil
(vegetable or canola)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
In a large deep skillet on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the onions and stir fry until translucent and softened. Once they start to brown, add the garlic & ginger. After a few minutes, add the spices (bay leaf, red chili flakes, paprika, turmeric, ground cumin powder, garam masala, ground coriander powder, salt & pepper). Stir well to combine and let the spices cook for a few minutes until fragrant & aromatic. Now add the tomato paste and let cook for another minute or so. Then add the chicken, stir well to coat the chicken pieces and allow the chicken to brown on all sides (this may take up to 10-15 minutes).
Now to the slow cooker, add the browned chicken pieces along with the onions/spice mixture and tomatoes. Also, add the chicken broth or water. Then adjust the slow cooker to low & allow too cook for 6 hours. After 6 hours, add in the cooked beans (drain & rinse before use). Mix well to combine and let cook on low for another 30 minutes. The chicken should be fully cooked and tender at this point, if not let it cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. Lastly, stir in the yogurt and garnish with the cilantro leaves. Serve with fresh naans & fragrant Basmati rice.
You can add a combination of mixed beans if you prefer. If you wish to use whole dried beans or dal varieties, I recommend soaking them overnight and then adding them at the beginning of the cooking process. If you wish to add split dals, I also recommend soaking them for at least 2-3 hours before use and also adding them at the beginning along with the chicken pieces.
Instead of yogurt, you can always add coconut milk if you prefer.