This curry house quality chicken chasni from scratch requires no base sauce!
One of the questions I get asked most is if it’s possible to make curry house style curries without the need for a base sauce.
I’ve been working on my curry house recipes and can honestly say that this no base chicken chasni from scratch is just as good if not better than what you’ll get at the takeaway!
So if you’re a fan of the mild, sweet and sour chicken chasni, give this recipe a try.
But I thought you had to make a base sauce to get restaurant quality chicken chasni?
There’s no doubt about it, curry house curries require a smooth sauce like those you get when you use base sauce.
The thing is, the base sauce was developed over time for speed and economy. It is much faster and cheaper for restaurants to use a base sauce in their curries. Here is the curry house version of my chicken chasni.
I usually use a base sauce in my curry house curries but have since developed this recipe for when I don’t have any base sauce on hand. It works! I promise.
The idea behind this chicken chasni from scratch recipe…
The curry house base sauce is simmered low and slow. With this recipe you are essentially speeding up the process to make this one curry.
Although you could get away with simply frying the onions for about 5 minutes, you could cook them for longer on a low heat which will bring out their natural sweetness.
If you follow this recipe as written, however, you will not be disappointed.
What is the base sauce?
For those of you who don’t have my cookbooks or are new to my blog, let me explain. The base sauce is essentially a watered down onion stock with a few spices and other veggies thrown in.
It’s easy to make in small or large batches and freezes very well. Here is one of my base sauce recipes which includes links to many curry house curries you can make with it.
The sauce is bland. It’s just a base like chicken or vegetable stocks are used as a base in other cuisines. The magic happens when that bland base sauce is used in the different curries. It’s used in to make everything from the mildest korma to the spiciest phall.
To blend or not to blend…
In the recipe, I blend the sauce so that it is smooth like you get at restaurants and takeaways.
This is just an additional step you can do if you really want to get that takeaway style sauce. If you don’t blend the sauce, you will still get great results.
Step by step photos…
Do I need to use food colouring?
Absolutely not! Chasni curries are known for their bright red colouring. This is all down to red food colouring which adds nothing to the flavour.
If you prefer not to use food colouring, just leave it out. Your curry may not look like a glowing red curry but it will taste the same.
Do I have to use pre-cooked chicken?
No but it does add another layer of flavour that will improve the curry. If in a rush, you could just stir in some raw chicken and allow it to simmer in the sauce until cooked through.
This time I used my stove top tandoori chicken recipe for this chasni.
- 800g chicken breasts – skinned and cut into bite sized pieces
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 onions – finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons garlic and ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika or Kashmiri chilli powder
- A pinch of turmeric
- 200ml chopped tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons mango chutney
- 2 tablespoons mint sauce
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 200ml water or chicken stock
- 200ml double cream
- Juice of two limes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander
- Heat the oil in a balti pan or wok over medium high heat.
- When the oil begins to bubble, throw in the chopped onions and fry for about five minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger paste and allow to fry for a further minutes.
- Stir in the cumin, turmeric chilli powder or paprika and fry for a further minute followed by the tomatoes.
- Now place the onion mixture in a blender with the mango chutney, mint sauce, ketchup, two tablespoons of the chopped coriander and the water/stock.
- Blend for two minutes until very smooth. You don’t want any chunks in this sauce.
- Wipe the pan clean and add a drop more oil into it if needed.
- Add the chicken pieces and brown them for a couple of minutes and the top with the smooth sauce.
- Simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Then add the double cream and simmer for a further few minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, squeeze the lime juice over the top and garnish with the remaining coriander.