Saturday, September 16, 2006

Badaami Murgh

DISH #50

This dish is traditionally served to guests or on holidays. Also, many times it is made a day in advance becasue it is better the next day.

Chicken Smothered in Almonds and Spices
Serves 6-8

3 lb. roasting chicken
5 medium onions
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons ghee
3 teaspoons finely chopped garlic _
3 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
I tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon chili powder, optional
3 teaspoons salt
3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander or mint leaves
100 blanched almonds
oil for frying
1 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon garam masala

1-Cut chicken into curry pieces. Peel onions, chop 3 onions finely and slice the remaining 2 very fine.
2-Heat ghee and oil in a large heavy saucepan and fry the 2 sliced onions, stirring, until golden brown.
3-Remove from pan and set aside.
4-Add the chopped onion, garlic and ginger to the oil left in pan and fry on low heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft and turning golden.
5-Long, slow cooking at this stage is essential if the curry is to have good flavor.
6-Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, fennel and chili powder and fry, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Add salt, tomatoes and half the fresh herbs, stir well and cook until tomatoes are pulpy.
7-Cover pan to hasten this process, but uncover and stir now and then to ensure mixture does not stick to base of pan.
8-Put in the chicken pieces and stir well so that each piece is coated with the mixture.
9-Cover pan and cook on very low heat for 40 minutes or until chicken is tender.
10-Meanwhile heat oil and fry half the almonds until golden. Grind remaining almonds.
11-Beat the yogurt with a fork until it is quite smooth and stir into the curry together with the fried almonds. Simmer 5 minutes, uncovered. Stir in the garam masala, reserved fried onions, ground almonds and remaining chopped herbs.
Heat through and serve.

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