Awesome Recipes, Britain, Indian, Uncategorized
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The emperor’s favourite: Pasanda Curry

Pasanda is thick, creamy, aromatic and velvety looking and by far one of favourite curries ever.

court eating.jpgThe history of this dish dates back to the 16th century and became a staple at the courts of Moghul Emperors of turco-mongol origin that ruled India under a Muslim Persianate dynasty.

In Urdu, thw word pasande means “favourite” and was prepared with the fines cuts of meat, but nowadays it is equally prepared with lamb, chicken or sea food.

It is considered a mild curry because of the use of coconut milk, ground almonds and shredded coconut that give it a thick granular texture yet creamy and rich.

Now, I have seen several versions of this dish, some with more or less coconut milk and some with more or less tomato puree.

I prefer my Pasanda milkier and creamier yet spicy, also it gives it a great look from the more common red, green or orange-golden curries.

This makes a great dish for a special occasion a dinner party or birthday lunch.

To prepare this luscious curry -chicken version- for 4 you will need:

For the marinade:

  • 4 pieces of chicken breast sliced in half and flattened.
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 5 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt


Using a pestle and mortar crush all the spices until they’re uniformly ground.

Put the chicken in a medium sized bowl, add the yoghurt and the spices, rub the meat thoroughly making sure every peace is generously coated.

Cover and pop in the fridge for at least 40 minutes.

For the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil. Although the original recipe calls for ghee, this is a good substitute and adds a nice flavour.
  • 1 tsp of cardamom seeds from green pods coarsely crushed.
  • 2 tsp of ground cinnamon or 4 small pieces of cassia bark.
  • 3cm of peeled and freshly grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tin can of tomato puree. Don’t use passata as its seasoned, is better if you use tinned whole tomatoes and make a pure with them.
  • ¾ tin can of coconut milk
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 50g ground coconut
  • 6 peppercorns crushed
  • 1 tsp salt


In a good sized pot or wok heat the oil and begin by sautéing the onions with the cinnamon (or cassia), cardamom seeds until the onion becomes translucid. Add the minced garlic and keep stirring.

Sprinkle the pepperconrs, add the tomato puree, lower the heat and let it simmer for some minutes. Then add the coconut milk and ground almonds and coconut, the sauce will then become thicker so in case you need more liquid, go for the rest of the coconut milk or ½ cup of water. Season with salt.

At this point add the chicken, mix everything gently, rectify the salt and make sure you have enough liquid to have a thick but not dry curry. Cover with a lid and cook for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

Serve immediately.

curry pasandaTo garnish:

  • Fresh coriander
  • Dollop of natural yoghurt

Serve with steamed basmati rice and baked poppadums or hot roti or naan.

Enjoy this royal feast!


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