Punjabi Style Pressure Cooker Chicken Curry also known as Ghar da Kukkad popularly in Punjab is a easy yet finger licking delicious curry. This was a curry which was a regular part of my growing up years. Something which my father loved with his glass of Chivas Regal. Read the post for fond memories and Ghar da Kukkad recipe
For as long as I can remember, Saturday evenings would be filled with a little chaos, a excitement. It would be time for the Punjabi Style Pressure Cooker Chicken Curry or Ghar da Kukkad. I have said this before I grew up in a primarily vegetarian household and chicken was an occasional affair. Mum didn’t eat it so she didn’t really want to cook it too often. Dad on the other hand was a brat and wanted to eat it weekly. And when mum wouldn’t give in to his demands, he would either put it on our names saying “mona kah rahi thi, chicken khaana hai” (Mona was saying she wants to eat Chicken) or to mum’s horror say I will make the chicken myself. (Think Kitchen cleaning, yes man the struggles remain the same across generations)
Finally, after a little back and forth it would be decided that it was time for Chicken curry and 9/10 times it would be mum who would end up making it. I remember how much ever she experimented with other dishes and food, the chicken curry would be the SAME. A basic masala base of fried onion and tomatoes with lots of ginger (no garlic was used in our house. Mum hated the smell and still does) and some khada masala (whole spices) cooked with enough water in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles (just like aloo, potato, she would say) and in the end served with some chicken masala added and a garnishing of coriander. Simple, clean and honest flavours. No fanciness, no jazz.
He would then open his bottle of whiskey/scotch, towards the later part of his life always Chivas Regal, slice some onions and eat this chicken curry with his drink. I mean I never understood how. Even when I would make chicken fry or some other stuff we commonly know as “cocktail bites”, he would want his Punjabi Style Pressure Cooker Chicken Curry with the drink. A spoon of curry, a bite of chicken and a sip of his super patalia drink would what he enjoyed the most as means of chilling out. No other fancy stuff would match up to this for him. No other chicken curry was ever good enough. If you cook, he would eat and then say “haan achi hai but woh maaza nahin aaya”. (It is good but not that delicious).
I made this Chicken curry a few days ago in his memory, poured myself a peg of Chivas, patiala ofcourse and ate it like he used to. No roti, no rice just onions and whiskey to go with. Tears rolling down my eyes but somewhere each bite of giving comfort beyond anything that else has in the past 1.5 months or so. Dad, I hope wherever you are you know that I will carry this legacy of yours. Yes including the Chivas Regal, whether mum likes it or not 😉
And people, do try this recipe. I promise this will be best easy pressure cooker recipe of Chicken curry you would have and probably the only one you will need.
Punjabi Style Pressure Cooker Chicken Curry
- 1 tbsp ghee/oil
- 1 kg chicken curry cut
- 2 tbsp ginger grated
- 2 green chillies
- 2 onions medium grated
- 3 tomatoes medium, pureed
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2-3 cloves
- 1 black cardamom
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp chicken curry masala
- Heat ghee or oil in a pressure cooker. Add cumin seeds, cloves, black cardamom, bay leaf and cinnamon stick . Sautee for 2 minutes or so till the whole spices are aromatic
- Add grated onions and cook till they are golden brown in color. Keep stirring often so that they don't burn and stick to the bottom.
- Add grated ginger and tomato puree to this and cook till oil separates and the tomatoes are well cooked. Like they say in Punjabi, bhuno this well for a good curry. Means don't be in a hurry in this step. Take your time and roast it well.
- Add all the dry spices with salt apart from chicken curry masala. Add the cleaned chicken and sautee for 2-3 minutes till chicken is coated in masala
- Add around 2 cups of water and close the pressure cooker. Cook for three whistles and then let the steam escape naturally. Add chicken curry masala and boil for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve hot garnished with coriander and sliced onions. Rotis or a glass of scotch whichever you prefer
Here are Some more every day chicken curry recipes from various regions of Indian you can try