Chicken Mughlai is another example of the rich creamy dishes of northern India, made famous by the Great Mughal rulers themselves.
Typically, the royal dishes are almost always meat cooked without the inconvenience of bones present, so minced meat, lamb chunks, chicken breast fillets are prime choices. The meat also has to be flavourful and tender so marinating before cooking is a common practice. Oftentimes the meat is marinated in a spice rub and yoghurt overnight, whereby the spices provide flavour and the yoghurt provides the tenderizing component. After a long marination period the meat is simmered gently in rich broths and gravies along with various spices, dried fruit and nuts; trully a delight to one’s olfactory senses.
I often order this dish when I get the chance if I am visiting a good Indian restaurant, but I have never made it for myself at home. Since moving here to Amsterdam five years ago I seem to have taught myself a great many dishes I wouldn’t normally cook on my own, simply because there is a lack of good food and restaurants here. Silver lining in everything, eh? I now know how to cook a great many things all thanks to me being totally bored and unemployed these past five years.
Chicken Mughlai is a simple dish to make at home, and it is a mildly spicy dish so I am sure it would appeal even to children. I used chicken breast fillets this time but you can also use chicken thigh fillets. These are cut to pieces and marinated overnight with salt, garam masala and yoghurt. Chuck it in the fridge and forget about it for at least 6 hrs. Overnight is best. The next day you can begin to put it all together. I picked up this beautiful, authentic recipe off the internet and I am sharing it with you.
1 kg chicken fillets, cubed
1 tbsp butter or ghee for frying
3 green chillies
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp tumeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 cup yoghurt
1 cup thick cream
100 mls water
chopped fresh coriander
Start by grouping things together … just makes things easier later. Here I have put the nuts and chilli together because they will be blended into a thick paste in a second. The recipe calls for three green chillies but I only used two coz I did not want my curry overly spicy. Place the chopped chilli and nuts into a blender with a bit of water. Blend until you get a smooth, thick paste. Set aside.
Now finely chop the onion, garlic and ginger. Place into bowls and set aside.
Next you’ll need to mix the yoghurt + cream together in a bowl. Set aside.
Other things you’ll need are garam masala, tumeric powder and salt.
Sautee the onions, ginger and garlic over medium heat.
Then add the nut paste and keep stirring coz you don’t want to burn the paste.
Add in the garam masala, salt and tumeric. Add the yoghurt and cream mixture.
Lastly, add the chicken and stir to coat everything in that wonderful nutty sauce. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and cover the pan.
Simmer gently for 10 – 15 mins then stir in the chopped coriander. Set aside while u get started on the jeera rice.
I am still not very good at cooking flavoured rice so I usually cook my rice plain first, then I stir in the tadka made from red onions, cumin seeds coriander stems. Cook the basmati rice then set aside to cool slightly, then heat oil in a pan and toast the onions, cumin seeds and coriander stems until fragrant. Some butter in there would be an excellent choice too … mmmm, buttered rice! Then pour over the cooked rice and stir through. Season to taste.
You are now ready to dive into your meal. Serve with the rice or make some fresh flat breads to go with the chicken. Enjoy this delicious finger lickin’s dish with family and friends. If you want another north Indian dish to go along with this one, you can try my Kheema Mater recipe, which is minced mutton with peas. Other dishes that go well with chicken Mughlai is Dal Makhni or any simple brown lentil dish. That will be my next post.
~ Enjoy! ~