Nothing can be experienced to the fullest unless you have friends and loved ones to experience it with. That’s why when our friends Sreya and Sandipan drop in from time to time, often surprising us, the Cheshire-Cat smile makes its appearance on Pooja’s face, and the drinking and eating lasts well into the next day.
And every time this beautiful couple comes a-visiting, they bring with them something or the other that’s uniquely their own, and regale us with it. This Saturday, Sreya brought with her a recipe whose end-product made us nostalgic for quintessential roadside dhabas and their lip-smacking cuisine. And this one, too, has no turmeric, much like the wine chicken Pooja had cooked earlier! Pretty unusual for Indian food, right? Here’s what it ultimately looked like.
As for the the taste, it was a little piece of heaven, with tastes of the earth and the most welcoming hearth combined! The spices were strong, the chicken was succulent, and the evening was coloured savoury by the cooking and the company.
Got your creative culinary juices flowing? Here’s how we did it. First, the ingredients:
- Chicken: 500 g
- Onion: Paste of 200 g
- Tomato: Paste of 100-150 g
- Green chilli: 3
- Ginger-garlic paste: 100 g
- Coriander: 100 g
- Coriander powder: 15-20 g
- Bay-leaf: 1
- Curd: 250-300 ml (can be more)
- Dried chilli powder (optional): 15-30 g
- Cashew (optional): 100 g
- Lemon juice: 15-20 ml (can be more)
- Cinnamon stick: 1 piece
- Garlic pods: 4
- Cooking oil: 50 ml
- Ghee (clarified butter): 50 ml
- Sugar: As per taste
- Salt: As per taste
Pooja starts by cleaning the chicken with hot water, thereby killing off a lot of micro-organisms that would have otherwise made our bodies their home.
Then, in goes the curd, cold and creamy, but not too fatty.
Add to that the lemon juice, coriander powder, chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste and salt.
Mix the entire thing up, and let the chicken soak in the marinade.
Now for another bit to the marinade. Take the fresh coriander leaves and the garlic pods, …
… put them in the mixer, and pour most of the resulting paste into the marinating chicken. Keep a little of the paste aside. You will need it later.
Mix that thing well, and marinate the chicken for at least 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare to cook. Set your oven to medium heat, put on the pan, heat the oil and the ghee, and put in the bay-leaf and the cinnamon stick, all broken up.
By now, we hope you have made your onion paste…
…and tomato paste.
Now that the oil is starting to release the spices flavour, pour in the onion paste and keep stirring. Don’t let the paste stick to the bottom.
Then, just when the onion starts becoming a beautiful golden-yellow, put in the tomato paste and commence more stirring.
Then, when the entire thing has achieved a homogeneous colour, put in the rest of the coriander paste and stir some more till the mixture achieves a beautiful greenish tinge.
Now, pour in the marinated chicken. Let more stirring commence.
The stirring should be continuous for the chicken to cook well, and the spices to work its magic.
After some time, when the chicken is cooked well — a fact easily verified by testing its softness: just poke it with a knife and you will know — and the gravy is starting to congeal, pour in some water. Let the water mix with the gravy, so you have a good curry with the chicken.
And voila! The coriander chicken is ready. Thank you, Sreya!
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