Bhuna is a cooking process rather than a sauce, the spices are gently fried in copious amounts of oil. The cooking process is completed when the meats are added to cooking their own juice to produce a deep intense rich coating sauce. The resulting dish is flavorsome rather than hot and often served garnished with fried onions. The bhuna sauce originated in Bengal and typically it is served with lamb.
Because of its intense flavor, it can be as soon as it is cooked. However, like most curries, it is at its best if you leave it in the fridge for 24 hours.
I like to serve chicken bhuna with chapatis to soak up the rich sauce. It can be served with any type of Indian bread or rice. When I do serve it with rice I like to serve it with lemon rice or steamed rice.
Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan and add the garlic, green chilies, and ginger. Stir them for a minute in hot oil then add the chopped onions. Stir and leave to cook over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
Once the onions have turned a golden brown color, add the turmeric, chili, cumin, coriander and garam masala powders. Stir and cook for about a minute.
Add the chopped tomatoes with 100ml water and a good pinch of salt. Stir together, cover the pan and allow it to come to a boil. Stir occasionally until the masala becomes nice and thick.
Add the chicken to the pan and coat the pieces in the masala so it’s all nicely covered. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and combined with the thick masala sauce.