Kokur Rogan josh (chicken curry) is an aromatic dish from the beautiful valley of Kashmir in India. This recipe comes from the Hindu Brahmin community or pundits of Kashmir though there is a definite Mughal influence in the Kashmiri cuisine.
The color and a gentle heat in this dish is contributed by the addition of Kashmiri chili powder and sweet paprika. This curry is different from all others as it has none of the herbs and spices you associate with Indian curries-- onion, fresh ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric. Chicken is braised in yogurt and loads of aromatic spices. The bold flavors and aroma are imparted by fennel, ginger powder, black cardamom and asafoetida.
You will enjoy this one for its subtlety and complexity of flavor and undoubtedly aroma. Serve with naan or saffron rice and a green vegetable.
2 lbs chicken thighs
1 1/2 cup yogurt
2 inch stick cinnamon
3 black cardamoms
2-3 bay leaves
1/4 cup oil
salt to taste
2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 cup water
2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp whole fennel ground to powder in a spice mill or mortar and pestle
few strands saffron mixed in 2 tsp warm milk
1/2 tsp garam masala
- Season the chicken with salt and keep aside while you get the other ingredients ready.
- In a pan heat oil and add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaves. Roast for 30 seconds and add the asafoetida and seasoned chicken. Cook on high for a minute or two till the chicken pieces have acquired some flavor from the whole spices.
- Add the chili powders and mix well so that the chicken gets a distinct red color.
- Add yogurt and cook for about 7-10 minutes on medium high heat. Stir frequently to prevent the contents from burning. As most of the liquid evaporates and you see the oil separating from the side of the chicken.
- At this point add the ginger and fennel powder.
- Mix well and add water. Adjust seasoning.
- Bring to boil, simmer covered for about 10 minutes till chicken is cooked through. Adjust consistency by boiling off excess liquid (if required).
- Add the saffron and garam masala and make sure the sauce is thick and silky. Serve hot, garnished with chopped fresh coriander.