Tempranillo Joven paired with Chicken Curry

Hema's Chicken Curry

Recipe by Hema Dandekar
Photo: Larry Armstrong

Wine Pairing: 2017 Tempranillo Joven, 2017 Grenache, 2017 Tempranillo Maduro

Serves: 8 (Serving size 1 cup)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2 1/2 hrs


3 dried red chilies, broken in half
5 black peppercorns
5 whole cloves
¼” stick cinnamon or ¼ tsp. cinnamon powder
1 Tbsp. fresh or dried, unsweetened coconut, shredded (optional)
1 Tbsp. cumin seeds or 1¼ teaspoon cumin powder
1 Tbsp. coriander seeds or 1 Tbsp. coriander powder
1 lb. tomatoes (fresh or stewed and available canned)
5 garlic cloves
1” pc. fresh ginger root, coarsely chopped
½ cup onions, finely chopped
1½ Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 bay leaf
3 lb. chicken (whole cut-up chicken or chicken breasts only)
1 Tbsp. salt ¾ 


In a small pan, dry heat the red chilies, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, coconut, cumin, and coriander over a medium to high burner, stirring constantly. 

In a blender, puree spices, tomatoes, garlic, and ginger until they form a homogeneous liquid.

Heat vegetable oil in a 4-quart heavy pot. Add the bay leaf and chopped onions, and lightly fry until the onions are a crisp golden yellow tinged with brown. Stir constantly to prevent burning.

Blot moisture from the chicken with a paper towel. Add chicken to the pot. Stir until the pieces are browned, then add the tomato and spice mixture, stirring and coating the chicken with it. 

Clean the blender container with 1 cup water and add this along with the salt.

Bring to a boil on high heat. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so. 

Remove the cover and simmer for another 20 minutes. 

Add salt to taste.


1. When blending tomatoes and spices, add 2 large green bell peppers. Proceed as above, adding blended mixture to the chicken and stirring. Use only ½ cup water for cleaning out the blender. Add 1 cup plain yogurt and stir. Bring to a boil on high heat and continue as above. 

2. Substitute ¾ cup fresh coconut and ¾ cup water for the cup of water called for in the recipe. Blend them into a homogeneous liquid and proceed as directed.

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