Over the years of my experimenting in kitchen, I have developed few personal standards to asses my performance.
For non-vegetarian dishes with gravy, the rule of thumb is that the spices and the protein (the main ingredient of any non-vegetarian dish) should be roasted well to allow the aromatic components of the recipe seep deep into the protein and the oil leaves the sides of the pan.
Methi Murg – Fenugreek Chicken
Difficulty level: Easy
- Chicken – 1 kg
- Vegetable oil or Olive Oil – 4 to 5 tbsp (don’t shy off from adding that much oil, else you’ll never get the final, warm color of the spices, irrespective of the amount of chili powder you put in)
- Cloves – 2
- Cardamoms -3 (remove the seeds from the pod and crush them well)
- Cinnamon – 2 pieces (approximately 3 cm each)
- Black Cardamom – 1
- Black peppercorns -4
- Bay leaves -2
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Red chili powder -1 tsp (you can adjust it to your personal preference of how hot you like your food)
- Garam Masala powder 1/2 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Garlic – 6 cloves
- Ginger – about 2 inch
- Onion – 4 to 5 medium-sized
- Tomato – 5
- yogurt – 3 tablespoon (you can use the one set at home or the Greek yogurt)
- Dried Fenugreek leaves (you can get the Kasoori Methi from the market or dry a few bunches of fresh fenugreek leaves in shade. They smell superb and can be conveniently stored for upto a year)
- Clean, skin and thoroughly wash the chicken pieces and set aside.
- Finely dice 2 cloves of garlic, half of the ginger and one onion and set aside to fry them.
- Make a fine paste of the remaining cloves of garlic, ginger, onions and tomatoes in a mixer or food processor. You can also use tomato puree.
- Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan or wok. Add the bay leaves, cloves, crushed cardamom seeds, black pepper, black cardamom and cinnamon.
- Now add the finely diced ginger, garlic and onion and let them saute till onion pieces get tender and transparent.
- To this add the ginger,garlic,onion,tomato paste.
- Now add salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder and garam masala powder.
- Let the masala mix well and simmer on a medium flame. Remember to stir often and cook for five minutes.
- Now add the Chicken pieces to the prepared masala and let it cook for 20 minutes. Stir with a gentle hand at regular intervals till the chicken is tender and the masala leaves oil at sides of the pan. Add very little water if the mixture starts sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the oil leaves the sides of the pan, add the yogurt and cook for next ten minutes with constant stirring to avoid the masala from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Now add water to adjust the amount of gravy you like (more if you’d like to eat it with rice).
- Let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once ready (always check whether chicken is tender), crush the dry fenugreek leaves in between your palms and garnish generously.
- Immediately place the lid to avoid the aroma of the fenugreek from escaping.
- Serve hot with rice or naan or chapati.
It is one of my personal favorites that I have successfully cooked for a wide variety of people.
For more recipes from my kitchen, visit my food corner.