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Chicken Aubergine And Potato Masala By John Upton


1 kg chicken on the bone-thighs, scored to enable the masala to penetrate the meat

1 aubergine, cubed small

2 small-medium potatoes, cubed small

a 270g pack of ‘san marzano’ tomatoes-use any fresh tomatoes if you can’t get these, I just wanted to try this particular variety in a curry!

1 bulb of garlic, piece of fresh ginger-equal portion, bashed

10 fresh green chillies, fine chopped (add or reduce to suit your heat tolerance level)

A handful of fresh chopped coriander

enough oil to cover the base of your cooking vessel

3 tej patta

2 black cardamom

3 green cardamom

4 cloves

1 tsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

2” piece of cinnamon swirl

4 heaped tsp of ‘Rajah’ chicken masala powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

1 tbsp fresh crushed coriander seeds

1/2 tsp garam masala (at the end)

1 tbsp of hand rubbed kasuri methi (at the end)


Heat the oil in your cooking vessel, add the black and green cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, mustard and cumin seeds, tej patta and gently fry until aromatic.

Add your onions, fry gently, until softened right down, add some salt to draw the moisture out, takes around 30 minutes, and when necessary, to avoid any sticking/burning, have boiling water to hand, to add a tbsp or two.

Now add your garlic/ginger and the green chillies (if using), and again cook down until the sharp, raw smell of the garlic and ginger has passed. Follow on with your tomatoes, repeat the cooking down process, cover and allow the steaming to help the break down the tomatoes, and create a rich masala. You know you’re there when the oil is that ‘tomatoey’ orange-golden colour, (and again, throughout this cooking out process, add tiny amounts of boiling water to assist the cooking)

Add your dry powders now, chicken masala, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and Kashmiri chilli, stir in well, and cook out until the oil separates, make sure there’s enough moisture to avoid burning the spice.

Add your chicken, make sure to stir well, coat the meat and allow the masala to fill the scoring in the meat, seal the meat over a few minutes then add boiling water to cover the meat in your vessel. Cover and cook on medium-high for around 10 minutes to let the meat release its moisture, stirring frequently

As soon as you see oil starting to rise, add your aubergine, stir well, cover again and continue cooking on a medium-low heat now, the aubergine will in time absorb gravy, you will see after around 10 or so minutes that the aubergine has changed colour and the gravy is starting to take shape.

Add your potatoes, stir well, and repeat the cooking until they, and your dish is cooked through, and the oil has risen, check for seasoning, at this point throw in your fresh chopped coriander, stir well, add your kasuri methi, and garam masala, turn off heat, cover and let the garam masala and kasuri methi to be taken in, and perfume your meal beautifully

Enjoy with rice or/and rotis


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