Friday, May 16, 2014

Shahjahani chicken

Shahjahani chicken curry
This Mughlai delicacy is rich and creamy, and is cooked in aromatic spices and almond paste to get a delicately flavored chicken curry. Serve with naan or rice for a royal feast. 
Ingredients: (serves 4-5)
1 large red onion chopped fine
6-7 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger peeled
20 almonds soaked and peeled
20 cashews
1/2 cup yogurt
2 tbsp sour cream
5-6 cloves
1 small stick cinnamon
5-6 green cardamom
3-4 bay leaves
1-2 black cardamom
Salt to taste
Kashmiri chili powder to taste
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
For the marinade
2 lbs chicken cut in bite sized pieces
red chili powder
To garnish
Fresh coriander chopped fine
Toasted almonds and cashews
Handful raisins (optional)
1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)

Shahjahani chicken
  1. Marinate chicken with salt and red chili powder for at least 2 hours.
  2. Take ginger, garlic, 15 almonds and 15 cashews in a grinder and add just enough water to make a fine paste. Keep aside. Lightly toast the rest of the almonds and cashews and raisins in a tsp oil and keep aside for garnish.
  3. Take cloves, cinnamon, green and black cardamom and pound them lightly to coarsely grind these. Make sure they don't become a fine powder. Keep aside.
  4. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the chicken pieces till they are golden in color. Don't worry if they do not cook through fully, we will be cooking them more later. Make sure to do this in batches so as to not over crowd the pan. Keep them aside.
  5. In the same pan and oil add the pounded spice mixture and bay leaves. Cook for 20 seconds and then add chopped onions. 
  6. Fry for 3-5 minutes stirring constantly till they turn lightly golden. Add almond paste and Kashmiri chili powder, cumin and coriander powder and turmeric. Stir together for 2-3 minutes till the garlic cooks a bit and the oil separates. 
  7. Now add the yogurt and stir for 2-3 minutes again till the oil separates. Throw in the fried chicken pieces now and coat them well with the mixture. 
  8. Add sour cream and salt and some water. Water quantity will depend on the desired consistency of the final dish. Add 3/4 to a cup of water first and stir to see if you will need more. 
  9. Bring to a boil and them simmer covered for 12-15 minutes till chicken is cooked through and gets the full flavor of the gravy. Make sure to check on this every so often as it can burn easily due to the cream and yogurt. 
  10. Add garam masala and serve topped with toasted nuts and raisins and fresh coriander along side naan or rice.

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