In my defence, I really wanted to have some yummy chicken for dinner and I did not know that people can be this annoying. You know those people who know that they are unwanted, you haven’t been in touch for long, you don’t have anything in common anymore and basically you just have to smile and nod while they go on about, well, I would know if I had been listening. I had never heard about this childhood friend from my father and after the dinner last night, I was pretty sure that I will not hear about him ever again. He had come to visit us with his son since the son had enrolled himself in the University in Pune. Honestly, from the moment I had heard about these popped out of the blue - don’t care about other people’s time visitors, I was not happy. But, you know the miseries of a social being, I had to smile, be nice and cook up a delicious dinner.
My mother and I divided responsibilities, to avoid the third world war in our kitchen. My mother is a religious vegetarian so I was responsible for the chicken recipe. I wish I had cooked up a lousy dinner than try a recipe trying to ape the utterly, butterly delicious chicken from Paramount, a reasonable joint in Mahim which serves the best butter chicken with butter rotis I have ever eaten in Mumbai. Even though I put up with hours of I am too good to be in this place talk from the duo that visited my house, I compensated by stuffing myself the chicken I had cooked, I think we all did. So here is the recipe. Statutory Warning: This recipe makes stay longer and are likely to come back again. To drive them away you could try Bitter gourd kebabs or Kali Mirch Ladoos.
Chicken, Boneless 600g, cut into cubes
Garlic-ginger paste 40g, fresh
Lime 1, juice
Red Chilli paste 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala powder 1 teaspoon
Mustard Oil 10ml, Cooked (Heated till it emits smoke)
Onion 2 large, thinly sliced
Tomato 2 large
Tomato Puree 60 ml
Black cardamom 2, roasted
Cinnamon ½ inch, roasted
Cashewnuts 8, finely grind into a paste
Red Chilli powder ½ teaspoon
Kasoori methi powder 1 teaspoon, roasted
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
Mix Yogurt, ginger garlic paste, red chilli paste, garam masala powder, salt, lime juice and mustard oil in a big bowl, whisk and add boneless chunks of chicken and marinate until you prepare the other ingredients.
Heat water in a deep, heavy bottom pan until it is boiling. While the water is getting heated, wash the tomatoes thoroughly, remove the eye and make a cross incision at the bottom of all five tomatoes. Once the water is boiling, pop in the tomatoes into the boiling water and allow them to cook for two minutes. Once the skin of the tomatoes separates from the flesh, remove the tomatoes, run them under cold water and peel out the skins. This process is called blanching the tomatoes. Now remove the seeds and chop the tomatoes finely.
Heat Oil for frying in a heavy bottom pan, check the oil by putting one slice of onion in, if it comes up instantly the oil is ready. Remove this slice of onion and add in the rest of the sliced onion and deep fry until golden brown. The onion should be evenly sliced, don’t over crowd the vessel for even frying. After the onion is golden brown, remove it, cool it and grind it with black cardamom and cinnamon.
In a pan, add butter and allow it to melt. Now, add in the onion mixture, add in the chopped tomatoes and allow it to cook on medium heat for three minutes. Now add in the tomato puree, red chilli powder and allow it to simmer for five to seven minutes. Once the onion tomato mixture leaves the sides, add in cashew paste, stir and simmer for another three minutes.
To cook the chicken pieces, melt butter in a pan and add the marinated cubes of chicken. Do not over crowd the pan, if required divide the chicken into two batches. Allow the chicken to brown, cook for three minutes and set aside. Chicken can also be grilled or cooked over burning charcoal for a smoky flavour.
Add the chicken to the curry, stir and for two minutes. Turn off the heat. Then add in the cream, sprinkle kasoori methi and add in the remaining butter, stir in and serve hot with Rotis or steamed rice.