We had friends staying with us for the weekend and I kicked off their visit with a curry – any excuse to cook one!
I decided to make one of my favourites from Atul Kochhar’s book Simple Indian – achari murg, which he translates as Rajasthani pickled chicken curry. It is so-called because it contains pickling (achari) spices common to Northern India.
It’s a rare find on a curry house menu, although you can get it at the Jubo Raj on Cotham Hill, which I highly recommend you do if you don’t fancy trying it yourself at home.
I didn’t follow Atul’s recipe to the letter. Having made the dish several times before, there were elements I wanted to tweak and make my own. After all, I firmly believe a recipe is there for inspiration and guidance and not something you need to religiously follow. It got me thinking though, how would chef feel about me changing a recipe he’s worked hard to perfect and at what point does the recipe become my own? Am I within my rights to post a recipe for my own version of the dish here on my blog without causing offense or breaching any laws?
Perhaps I’ll just start by telling you what I changed and why so if you get your hands on the recipe you can decide what you’d like to do!
- I use chicken thighs with the bone in – partly because I can’t be bothered to bone them and partly because I love the extra flavour they impart when cooking
- I like to use dried red chillies instead of fresh ones as I think they provide a much deeper flavour and warmth which works well in this dish
- I add a little cornflour to the yoghurt before adding it to the curry since I have found that the yoghurt I buy from the supermarket can split when added to the hot sauce and the cornflour helps to stabilise it
- I think that a mixture of lemon and lime juice rather than lemon juice alone enhances the flavour of the dish
- For extra tanginess I love to add a teaspoon of lime pickle to the sauce (I use Patak’s although I really ought to make my own sometime!)