This is the second Indian-inspired dish my wife made called “Mughlai” chicken. This is a very flavorful dish with lots of spices but not hot. Although it has good amount of cream, use of yogurt makes it less deadly while keeping the sauce very rich. I was sous chef and did the prepping of the chicken and chopping of vegetables. My wife follow the recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s “Indian Cooking” cook book. The recipe is similar to one by Nigela Lawson which is available on-line.
Chicken: Both recipes are a bit vague about what parts and kind of chicken. We used chicken thigh, skin off, bone out, and cut into two pieces. We used a total of 6 thighs (12 pieces, about 3 lb or 1 kg).
Ginger, I inch cube, peeled and coarsely chopped (we cheated and used ground ginger from a tube).
Garlic, The receipt calls for 8-9 cloves but we cut this down but again used ground garlic from a tube.
Almond, 6 tps, sliced. We used whole almond toasted and sliced.
Cardamom pods, 10, lightly bruised
Cinnamon stick, one
Bay leaves, two
Cumin, ground, 2 tsp
Cayenne pepper, 1/8 tsp
Plain yogurt, 7 tbs
Light cream, 10oz
Salt, 1 1/2 tsp
Raisin, 2 tbs (the original recipe called for golden raison but we used regular raison.)
Garam masala, 1/4 tsp
Onion, 2 medium, finely chopped
Vegetable oil, 7 tbs
1. Make a paste of almond (4 tbs), garlic, ginger, and water (starting from 4 tbs) in a small electric blender. We needed to add more water to make it a paste.
2. Brown the chicken:in oil in a large skillet in all sides in two batches. Set them aside.
3. In the same pot, add the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and bay leaves in the same oil and fry until fragrant. The original recipe does not instruct to remove these items (only mentioned that they were not meant to be eaten). So as not to accidently crack a tooth however, we removed these including black seed spilling out from the cardamom pods using a fine meshed square skimmer.
4. We added the onion and sautéed it for 3-4 minutes. We then added the almond paste, cayenne pepper and cumin and sautéed for few minutes.
5. We started adding the yogurt one tables spoon at a time until all were incorporated.
6.We added the cream, salt, and the chicken pieces including the liquid accumulated.
7. We simmered it for 20 minutes on low flame with a lid on. We turned over the chicken pieces and added the raisons (see below) and simmered for another 10 minutes.
8. We served this over rice with toasted and sliced almond as a garnish (The first picture).
This is a very nice dish. It has a very complex flavor. Since we did not put too much cayenne pepper, it is not too hot. The mixture of yogurt and cream made the sauce very rich (hopefully better than just cream). This dish reheated well in the microwave oven.