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Recipe: Chef Santosh Kumar’s Chicken Masala Special

Santosh Chicken Masala Special
By Mummyfique Contributor
May 13, 2021
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If your child is a little bit older and ready to explore some new flavours, introducing spices to them maybe the next step. Of course, something like a super spicy vindaloo would be out of the question but a mild curry could be a fun way to get them to expand their taste repertoire. This recipe from Mandarin Oriental’s chef Santosh Kumar for instance is tasty yet not too spicy. Best of all, it’s rather simple to make so this could be a real keeper for us busy mums!

Santosh Chicken Masala Special


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1 large onion
6 garlic cloves
50g ginger
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp coriander powder
5cm cinnamon stick
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
400g chopped tomatoes
8 chicken thigh, skinned, boneless (800g)
2 tbsp chopped coriander


Transfer onion, ginger and garlic to a small food processor, and add 3 tablespoons of water. Then, process all ingredients into a fine paste.

Heat the oil in a wok. Combine the cumin, fennel seeds, cinnamon stick and spices. Once the oil starts crackling, add the paste and chili flakes to the pan in one go.

Cook for 8 minutes until the spices release a fragrant aroma.

Stir in the garam masala, turmeric, and continue cooking for 20 seconds before tipping in the tomatoes.

Continue cooking on a medium heat for about 10 mins without a lid, until the tomatoes have reduced and darkened in colour.

Cut the chicken thighs into 3cm chunks and add to the pan once the tomatoes have thickened to a paste.

Cook for 5 mins to coat the chicken in the masala and seal in the juices, and then pour over the hot chicken stock.

Simmer for another 8-10 mins without a lid until the chicken is tender and the masala lightly thickened – you might need to add an extra ladleful of stock or water if the curry needs it. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve with Indian flatbreads or fluffy basmati rice and a pot of yogurt on the side.

Chef Santosh Kumar will be showcasing his well-loved recipes at Melt Café’s Indian Specialty showcase from 16 to 31 May 2016. For restaurant reservations and enquiries, please email [email protected] or call +65 6885 3500.