Monday, June 20, 2011

Badami Murg Masala (Chicken Curry in Almond Sauce)

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After a subtly flavored and delicious cashew based chicken curry from down south, it was time for its northern cousin, the almond to make its presence known in a little spicy but rich North Indian gravy.
The almond is native to the Mediterranean region of the middle east and is extensively used globally in various cuisines lending itself to some tasty starters, delicious curries and mouth watering desserts.
Almonds have also been a part of the folklore, with gifting of five almonds during weddings represents health, wealth, long life, fertility and happiness. Then there is a Greek legend around this that young man called Demophon, who fell in love with a Tracian princess, Phyllis. Before the marriage ceremony Demophon is informed that his father has died in Athens and he must return for the funeral. He promises to come back by a certain day but does not return until three months have passed by. By this time Phyllis is sure that she will never see her lover, Demophon again and hangs herself. The Gods, touched by her love, transform her into an almond tree. The desperate Demophon goes to the almond tree and offers a sacrifice to the tree, declaring his undying love. In response to his gesture, the almond tree blossoms. Therefore the almond came to symbolize impetuous youth and immortal love.
Atleast in India, the common folk believe that eating almonds increases brain power. So it is not uncommon for people to remark to others (especially kids not doing too well in studies) to have almonds soaked overnight.
Now coming back to this recipe. You can try this variations. If you do not add tomatoes then this will become a Qorma (Korma). One can also add paste of roasted grated coconut to the dish and if you have time on your hands, try covering the dish during the later stages and sealing it with some dough to do a Dum.

Other Indian chicken recipes on this blog that are worth trying are:

Murg Handi Lazeez
Murg Malaaiwala
Chettinaad Kozhi Kozhambu
Murg Dahi Dhania Korma
Murg Peshawari
Murg Navratan
Murg Patiala
Murg Korma
Butter Chicken
Hyderabadi Anjeer Murgh
Murgh Kairi
Cashew Chicken Curry

Badami Murgh Masala

Chicken Breasts, Boneless, cut into 1-Inch dices - 4
Onions, finely chopped - 3
Onion, finely sliced - 1
Ginger, finely chopped - 3 Tblsp
Garlic, finely chopped - 8 cloves
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Cloves - 4
Coriander Powder - 1 Tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 Tsp
Red Chili Powder - 2 Tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1 Tsp
Green Cardamom -3
Black Cardamom - 1
Yogurt - 1 Cup
Almonds, ground into paste with 1/2 cup water - 20
Tomatoes, chopped - 3
Almonds, blanched and slivered - 8
Salt - To Taste
Black Pepper Powder - 2 Tsp
Lime Juice - 2 Tsp
Kewra - few drops
Oil - For frying and cooking

1. Marinate the chicken pieces with salt, black pepper powder and lime juice for 30 minutes.
2. Fry the onion slices till golden brown. Drain and keep aside.
3. In same oil fry the slivered almond pieces till they start to turn golden. Drain and keep aside.
4. In the same oil, add the chopped onions and fry till they start to turn golden.
5. Add in the ginger and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
6. Add in the spices (fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, green & black cardamom, turmeric, coriander, red chili and garam masala powder). Fry for 2 more minutes.
7. Add in the tomatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes.
8. Take off the flame and allow to cool. Blend the mixture in a food processor and strain into a clean cooking vessel. Return back to the flame.
9. Add in the chicken pieces and stir well so as to coat the chicken pieces with the mixture.
10. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until chicken pieces are tender.
11. Add in the almond paste and mix well. Simmer for 5 minutes.
12. Add in the beaten yogurt and mix well. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
13. Cook till the gravy has a saucy consistency and adjust seasonings. Add in the crushed fried onion slices and kewra.
14. Pour into a serving dish and garnish with some of the fried onion slices and almond slivers.
15. Serve hot.


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