Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kadahi Chicken

I used to be a  mutton curry cook , back in Baroda . My few attempts to cook chicken there, the way I cooked mutton,  were sore failures. When we moved to Singapore, my first attempt to cook mutton was a trying incident. I picked up some mutton from the local store NTUC , picked up some leaves which I  thought looked similar to Indian spinach (palak) . The menu for dinner was palak mutton and pulao . Twenty minutes on the pressure cooker and the mutton had not softened - the more I cooked it , the harder it got. To add to my consternation, the palak smelled oddly like radish leaves!!! It was time for Joy to return home and I did not relish the idea of  cooking all over again. Drained the curry and turned it into mutton soup . The dinner menu quickly shifted to soup, sandwiches, fruit custard. Joy was delighted, Abhit was amused. I soon realized, it was lamb I had been cooking and not mutton. Mutton entailed trips to Little India. So I shifted to chicken. Kadahi chicken was the first recipe I tried and was floored. I have since  become a huge fan of Nita Mehta for her doable recipes (which turn out tasty too). I use this same recipe to prepare rajma too  which turns out to be an equal  winner . I feel it is the red chilli- dhania powder which gives a special taste to this dish. While I add  the  cream  only when we have guests at home, adding it does change the entire flavour of the dish... here goes....

(a) 800 gms of chicken
(b) 1 chopped onion
(c) 1 whole pod of garlic chopped and crushed
(d) Finely  shredded 3" piece ginger
(e) Half cup green coriander - chopped ; 2 green chillies.
(f) 4-6 whole dry red chillies
(g) 2 tbsp saboot dhania
(h) 6-7 large tomatoes
(i) 1 tbsp kasoori methi
(j) salt to taste
(k) 4-5 tbsp of oil
(l) Half tspn garam masala; 4-5 tbsp cream

Roast the red chillies  and saboot dhania on tawa  till you smell a nice aroma . Pound it coarsely to a powder.
Heat oil in a kadahi and fry onions till they are light brown.
Add crushed garlic and saute over medium heat till light brown.
Add the powdered chilli and dhania powder and stir for 30 seconds.
Add chopped tomatoes and saute for half a minute.
Add half of the ginger and half of the coriander leaves . Reduce the heat and let the tomatoes simmer until  soft. Add salt.
Add the chicken, cook on low flame with the lid covered, stirring occasionally till the chicken is tender.
Add kasoori methi and garam masala. Uncover and stir fry till oil separates.
Add cream and cook till the masala coats the chicken. Remove from fire.
Garnish with remaining ginger, green chillies and coriander leaves.

Bon Appetit!

Recipe from Nita Mehta

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