Saturday, December 7, 2013

Chicken with Mint, Coriander and Whole Spices

There was a big fat bag of mint glaring at me from the veg basket in the fridge. I don't know what possessed me to buy it when I did but now it was there, staring at me balefully, already ignored for three or four days.

And then Saturday arrived and I wanted to make something nice for lunch. I was in the mood for chicken, especially because it cooks fast and doesn't need a lot of pampering and prep. But that mint wouldn't leave me alone. It refused to wilt away quietly so I could chuck it a few days later with a twinge of regret. So it was going to be mint and chicken. I had no recipe and I wasn't in the mood to drag out the books and hunt. I did what most of us do these days... I shouted for help on Facebook.

Many suggestions and ideas came forth and I went with a recipe a friend sent me in private. A nice low-fuss recipe and I also had everything required for the recipe. I did tweak the recipe and this is what I did though I  mostly followed the original.

Chicken with Mint, Coriander and Whole Spices

1 chicken, cut into pieces, skin removed and discarded
1 -2 tbsp fresh curd
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp oil

2 large onions, sliced fine
a handful of garlic cloves - use as much garlic as you can handle
1 cup of fresh mint, picked and washed well
1 1/2 cup fresh coriander, picked and washed well
4 -5 green chillies - less or more depending on your heat tolerance
1 inch ginger
1/2 tsp whole cumin/jeera
2 green cardamoms
1 inch cassia bark

2 bay leaves
1 tsp pepper corns
1 inch cassia bark
1 black cardamom
1 mace/javitri

Wash and drain the chicken pieces and then marinate in curd, turmeric and oil. I also added salt.

Make a paste with the mint, coriander, garlic, ginger, green chillies, jeera, cardamom and cassia. I also added about 15 peppercorns here. I reduced the peppercorns used later. Chop the ginger so it doesn't jam the blades of your mixer. Lesson learned today!

In a wok or kadai heat oil and add the whole spices. I just loved the aroma of the javatri as it released its goodness! Once the peppercorns start sizzling and popping add the finely sliced onions. Keep the heat on medium and fry slowly letting the onions turns pink and then ultimately brown. I added a little sugar at this stage.

Once the onions have browned add the ground mint paste. You can grind it as fine as you like - I left it a little coarse because I like that texture. Fry the masala well till the oil separates. Add a little water and let it cook further. Once the oils are released again add the marinated chicken pieces. Coat all the pieces well with the masala and then cover the wok and let the chicken cook. Keep the flame lowered and just be patient, leave it to cook. Give it a stir after 5 minutes or so and add a little salt if you think it's needed.

Veda's recipe calls for two juicy tomatoes cut into chunks to be added to the pot now. I completely forgot! But you can add them. Once the chicken pieces are cooked through take off the lid and let the excess water dry off. Leave a thickish gravy if you prefer or dry it out further.

Serve with hot parathas.

This took barely half an hour to put together and it was really yum.

7 December
Marathon Bloggers 

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