Saturday, 26 November 2011

Balti Chicken Pasanda

Last week I had gone to the local library to pick some books.  I then borrowed some cookery books and others. I was quite bored of all what I prepare on regular basis and wanted to try something completely new, nothing of that I cook or even that taste like my regular food. Even the best of foods eaten on regular basis can feel tasteless and boring. Doesn’t it?! Do you all get bored with your own cooking, at least once in a while? I do, and that’s when we resort to some takeaways or eat out. Or I skim through blogs over blogs for recipes and sink myself in them without really cooking anything.

So, last week I dragged myself and my son to library, and brought so many cookery books and photography books for me and some story books for him as well. Unlike usual, our local library had some good collections this time. So I picked quite a few of which I thought were good which includes Moroccan and Lebanese cuisines along with an Indian cookery book which is real good. I tried three recipes from this Indian book and so far all were really appetizing. I would recommend this book if you are looking for some good meat and curry dishes,;North Indian. The book is called Indian Food & Cooking by Shehzad Hussain and Rafi Fernandez. The book contains 170 classic dishes ranging from the basic Tadka dhal to elaborate Biryani dishes. The book also has step by step illustrations, which makes it easier for the beginners. The curry below is very easy to prepare and it tasted great with the fruity pulao I prepared. Recipe is modified slightly with the amount of chicken I had. Original recipe used 675g of chicken.

Balti Chicken Pasanda
Minimally adapted from Indian Food & Cooking
Serves 5
800g chicken, cut into 2 ” pieces
2 large onions, 330g chopped
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2-3 tbsp chopped coriander
¾ cup- 1 cup milk (Or single cream)
1/3 cup/ 5Tbsp Greek yogurt
1 tsp chilli powder
2tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp garam masala
1 ½ tbsp ground almonds
5 cardamoms
2 small pieces of cinnamon sticks
¼ tsp pepper corns
½ tsp black cumin seeds
Salt to taste
1.Mix yogurt, cumin seeds, cardamoms, pepper corns, cinnamon stick, ground almonds, garlic, ginger, chilli powder and salt in  a medium mixing bowl. Add chicken pieces and leave to marinate for a minimum of 2 hours, covered in a refrigerator.
2. Heat oil in a large Karahi or sauce pan. Throw in the onions and sauté until it is golden.
3. Pour in the chicken mixture and stir well until it is well blended with the onions. Add little water (around ¼-1/2 cup if it looks dry)
4. Cook over a medium heat for about 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
5. Add green chillies and chopped coriander leaves. Pour in the cream or milk and bring to boil. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve along with any pulao of your choice.S
Notes: If chicken is washed and drained prior to cooking, there will be less water in the curry. If it is not drained, there will be more liquid in the gravy. You can adjust the water level and milk/cream level according to the water content in the curry.
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