Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chicken Rogan Josh with a little help from across the seas

About a month ago I received a parcel by mail. It had dark red oil stains on it. Now, I had been expecting a parcel but it was supposed to contain shampoo. My friend Anshie was sending me a particular one that I really liked, all the way from the US of A. So what was this oily unfamiliar smelling packet hiding?

I ripped it open and what do you know, out fell these discs of spice! Veri Masala! Anshie sent me veri masala and had fibbed about shampoo to keep me off track! The things we do to make our friends happy, friends we've bonded with over discussions about food, friends we've never met, but friends all the same. 

It goes without saying that a Kashmiri dish using this wonderful gift simply had to be cooked. And finally after all these weeks, here it is. I made Chicken Rogan Josh using Anshie's recipe as my guide though I did have to tweak it a bit according to the ingredients I had.

Here's the Chicken Rogan Josh that I made -

1 chicken, on the bone, cut into pieces
1 large onion, finely sliced
2 inch piece of fresh ginger grated
1 generous tsp fennel, broiled and powdered
4 cloves, pounded in the mortar and pestle
1 generous tsp Everest garam masala
2 tsp crumbled veri masala
2 tsp sweet paprika powder
salt, turmeric, mustard oil

Lightly rinse the chicken pieces and drain in a colander.

Heat the mustard oil in a kadai and let it get nice and hot till the surface shimmers and you get the fumes. reduce the heat and chuck in the onions. Stir well and start adding the chicken pieces. Put in the legs first, these take longer to cook. Stir about and fry slowly till the chicken begins to get opaque and slightly browned.

Add the remaining pieces of chicken and mix well. Stir and lightly brown the newly added pieces. Remove the chicken pieces to a large plate and keep aside, leaving the onions and the oil in the kadai.

Crank up the heat just to get things bubbly and stir the onions nicely. reduce the flame again and add the paprika or Kashmiri chilly powder, whichever you are using. Do not burn the chilli, you want to infuse the oil and onions with it. Keep the heat down and stir. Add a splash of water if the oil is too hot to bring down the temperature immediately. This is quite important. I've limited the quantity of chilli but you go ahead and use more if you like and your family can handle the heat.

Once the paprika is infused well and your kitchen smells nice, add the crumbled veri masala. Once again, keep the heat down so nothing gets burned. Add a little water if required and blend the spices and onions nicely.

I took this stage really slowly and cooked the spices on the lowest flame at a leisurely pace allowing them to meld nicely. You might need to press down on the veri masala granules to break them down so they don't remain lumpy. 

Now add the remaining dry spices and the grated ginger.

Add some water and blend in the spices and grated ginger. Add your salt too. Blend it all in well and once it begins to bubble (crank up the heat a little) add the chicken pieces back to the kadai. Mix it really well and fry it for a few minutes till the chicken pieces are coated with the onion and spices. Add about half a cup of water, bring to a boil and then let it simmer, covered for about 10 mins.

Check the chicken pieces to see if they're done. Decant into a pretty dish and serve with rotis, naan, or even rice and daal, as Anshie suggests. 

Here's the Chicken Rogan Josh that I made with veri masala and loads of love that came all the way from across the seven seas.

1 comment:

Pinku said...

looks yummy...though from what i have heard from Kashmiri friends...especially the Pundits...they usually dont add onions or garlic to any dish.