Saturday, March 3, 2012

Adraki Pyaz Murg / Ginger & Onion Chicken Curry

In north Indian kitchen (yes didn't I told U earlier I'm from north India) you don't cook chicken curry if you are out of two main things needed for almost any kind of curry : Tomatoes & Garlic. And in my kitchen U can't even think about that BUT I did it and everyone ate it & to top that he said complemented chicken curry is very tasty. It doesn't happen every day but other day when I decided to cook dinner despite knowing that I'm out of tomatoes & only last two cloves of garlic I opted for chicken, remembering how a day before 4th grader has been whining over the dinner table why U made veggie dinner again. Now for the name, till couple of years back every recipe I cooked didn't needed a name just calling it "chicken curry" or Pasta or whatever the main ingredient is in the dish, worked well as it's name. But now from last couple of years older one needs a name for every dish....which chicken? What kind of chicken? What did U put in pasta? So that's how yesterday I named it "Adraki Pyaz Murg", Adrak means Ginger, Pyaz means Onion & Murg = Chicken. So here's the recipe I whipped out for dinner.....
Servings : It served 3 hungry tummies(2 adults & one 4th grader) as lil'one decided she gonna stay on veggie diet that day.

What I used :
  • around 2 cups of cubed boneless chicken(I used 10 chicken tenders, I assume 2 chicken breasts would yield same amount)
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of chopped ginger
  • 1/2 cup dahi/curd/plain yogurt
  • 2-4 green chillies (use less or more as per your taste)
  • around 2+1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala(optional, as I didn't use it b'coz was out of it)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of dried methi/fenugreek leaves(Kasuri Methi *see notes)
for marinate :
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric/haldi
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper/kali mirch
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • around 1 tablespoon of oil
  • juice of half a lime (if small use the whole)
whole spices:
  • 2-3 dry red chillies
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. of cumin seeds/ jeera
  • 3-4 green cardamons/chotti elaichi
  • 8-9 whole black peppercorns/sabut kali mirch
  • 3-4 cloves/laung
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick/dal chini 
dry spices:
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric/haldi
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. dhania/coriander powder
  • salt
Notes : Dried methi/fenugreek leaves is widely known as Kasuri methi. Mine are dried at home & loosely packed in tight containers. While using it in the recipe I just take desired amount & crush it in the palm of my hand & sprinkle it in the dish. It not only add lovely aroma to the dish but also enhance the color of the dish also. If U are using store bought Kasuri Methi & if it's already in powder form use only 1/4 tsp. but still crush it using your fingers tips to release the aroma.

What I did :
  • Clean, dry & cube(bite size) the boneless chicken.
  • Marinate it with all the ingredients listed under marinate list for at least half an hour. I keep it on shelf but if I marinate it for longer time I would put it in the fridge.
  • While chicken is marinating. Heat 2 tablespoon of oil & caramelized the onions to the stage where they are all brown & crisp but not burnt means U have to work on low to med. heat. keep stirring them. It can take a while, sprinkle pinch of salt while U saute them it helps releasing the water from the onions. Also if U don't cut on oil it's more easy. I did it in two batches. after first batch is done use slotted spoon to take the onions out of the oil. U should have plenty of oil left for the second batch but if U feel it's less add little bit more.
  • After the onions are done saute the ginger in the same oil. Take it out.
  • Once the onions are little cool to handle DO NOT ATTEMPT TO EAT THEM THEY ARE ADDICTIVELY TASTY. And if U taste them U won't have enough for the dish they are so addictive, provided U have done them right b'coz if they are burnt they are no good for snacking they are no good for cooking chicken either. Grind the onions, ginger, green chillies & curd into a paste. 
  • Now using the same pan, turn the heat on. U should have left with some oil in it around 1/2 tablespoon OR if not add little bit, saute the whole spices for around 30-40 seconds. Add Ginger, Onion paste to it. Careful it'll splutter.
  • Cook this paste for around 7-8 minutes. Add all the dry spices including salt.Keep cooking on med. till it start to leave the oils on the sides of the pan.
  • While this paste is cooking take another heavy bottom pan(preferably wide kind) heat little oil around 1 tablespoon just enough to coat the bottom of the pan and saute the cubed chicken in that.May be for 3-4 minutes, it'll not look pink from outside but will still be pink from inside, kind of half cooked(*see notes).Keep it aside.
  • Once the onion paste is cooked add 2 cups of water & let it come to boil. Add half cooked chicken, garam masala & crushed methi leaves,stir. Cover & let it cook for another 5 minutes or till the chicken is fully cooked.If using chicken tenders it should be done in 5 minutes, for chicken breast it'll take few more minutes. 
Notes : To saute the chicken without it getting stuck to the pan, make sure pan is hot. Don't try forcefully to stir it when it's still pink on the side which is touching the pan(means too early), because once the side touching the pan gets cooked it automatically releases from the pan & U can turn it to cook the other side.

Serve it hot with your fav. kind of carbs, for us it was roti. Curry is on little hot side, to cut back the heat U can serve plain yogurt or some raita with it.

Happy Weekend to everyone :)