Tender pieces of chicken are cooked in a creamy earthy sauce, flavored with fresh methi (fenugreek) leaves to create this wonderful dish. The creamy consistency is obtained purely with plain yogurt and its tangy sourness balances beautifully with the slight bitterness of methi. In an attempt to make a healthy version, I have used very little oil for frying the masala (details in the recipe below).
Methi is available in many forms - fresh, dried herb, seeds, etc. This delicious green leafy vegetable is a rich reservoir of medicinal properties. Read more about its health benefits here.
I use both dry methi and fresh methi in this recipe. Both add their own flavor. If you cannot find fresh methi then substitute 1 cup fresh methi for 1/4 -1/3 cup kasoori methi. Re-hydrate by soaking in warm water for 10 minutes. Drain, squeeze and proceed with the recipe. You can also use frozen methi. Make sure to defrost and drain the water away before adding it to the dish. Either way this recipe is a keeper. Serve with roti and a heap of kachumber salad (bite sized pieces of onion, cucumber, tomato, grated carrot, radish squeezed with lime juice.)
Ingredients: (serves 4)
8 chicken thighs, whole or quartered
Marinate chicken for 4 hours in
1 cup plain yogurt, lightly beaten
1 tbsp Kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves), lightly dry roasted and palm crushed
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
Grind together to a smooth paste
4-5 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
3-5 green chilies
For the gravy
2 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 inch cinnamon
2-3 green cardamoms
2 tsp coriander powder
1 cup fresh methi, rinsed and roughly chopped
1/2 - 3/4 cup water (depending on desired consistency)
Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
- You can use either boneless or bone-in chicken for this recipe. Marinate the chicken in the ingredients listed under marinade, for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan on medium heat. Add cumin, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Let these roast in oil for 15 seconds till cumin turns golden. Add the ground onion paste.
- Cook stirring constantly till paste turns light brown. If the concoction starts to burn you have two options - one, add more oil and reduce heat a bit and continue cooking; two, sprinkle a little water and reduce heat a bit and continue cooking. The water method works really well and since we don't want the onion to brown too much, I opted for this reduced fat option.
- After the onion paste is roasted, add fresh methi and cook till all the leaves wilt. Add the marinated chicken along with the yogurt and mix well. Add coriander powder and water and bring to boil.
- Simmer and cook covered for 10-15 minutes till chicken is cooked through. Check for salt and consistency. If its too dry then add a bit of water, if too runny then boil off some.
- Sprinkle with fresh chopped coriander and serve hot with tava roti and salad.