Friday, June 29, 2012

My First Post and Signature Chicken Karahi

If you are in the habbit of storing frozen meat (Chicken in my case) in your freezer consider yourself lucky! Here is my first ever post which requires you to take that meat out now, defrost it and make yourself this super easy and quick Chicken Karahi. This recipe is my own from the days when I did not know much about Asian/Indian spices but harboured ambitions of becoming a fabulous cook some day. I was newly married with a husband to impress . I was also new to Dubai and did not have much to do in life. Even though I was always fascinated with cooking growing up, I did not really know much. I remember my mother chasing me away from the kitchen 'begging' me to complete my home work rather than fool around trying to experiment with a curry. Sigh... It was a budding culinary romance nipped in the well, bud. Anyhow, so here I was, with a husband who had faithfuly presented himself at work after the long months of visa-induced seperation from me, expecting a home cooked meal every night. Far from the days of being boyfriend-girlfriend, when we could just go to the nearest restraunt and order away.

This recipe was a brainwave of a clueless mind. I didn't know my spices well, so I decided not to use any. Simply chopped some onions, tomatoes,green chillis, ginger and garlic and cooked everything together to death, garnished with fresh clinatro and served it with some Dal and Rice. Turns out the husband loved it. Score!! Ever since that night, I have made this Karahi often. When I am lazy or in a rush and crave a simple , no fuss meat dish, I depend on this recipe. So can you and here's how.

  1. Fresh or Frozen Chicken:  -           1 kg (you can also just use chicken drumsticks)
  2. Onions:                          -                2 large, sliced finely
  3. Tomatoes:                                       2 large, chopped fine
  4. Giner and Garlic paste:       -          2 tbsp heaped
  5. Fresh Green chillis:             -          5-6 finely chopped.
  6. Fresh Cilantro/Corriander leaves :  about a whole bunch or a cup full, finely chopped
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Any vegetable oil  but not Olive oil. Indian subcontinental cooking does not do well with olive oil. Please do note this.
How To:

Heat about 5-6 tbsp of any vegetable oil in a wide bottomed pan. Start with adding in the ginger garlic paste and wait for it to caramelise/brown. Then add the green chillis. In a few seconds add the sliced onions and now saute it all well till the onions also take on a nice brown/caramelised tinge. See picture.

Once you see the onions have lost their pinkness and oil is starting to seperate, add the chicken pieces. Keeping the heat on high, mix this all well and keep sauteing. The chicken along with the onions also needs to get browned and practically completely cooked. Once the water/juices have almost dried up, you can reduce the heat to medium. Finally, add the chopped tomatoes and give it all a good stir. Continue cooking on medium to high- heat because we need to get all the moisture/water released by the tomatoes dry. Season with salt. From the start to finish, the entire process whould take about thirty minutes.


PS- If you dont have time or the patience to stand by the stove, you can simply add all the ingredients (except tomatoes) in the same order as listed in the above method. Cover with lid and let cook. Then after about 10 minutes on medium-low heat of cooking, check the onion/ginger/garlic/chicken mix - it should loose it's raw smell, will look browned but watery and some oil would have seperated. Now  you can go ahead and add the tomatoes. Once however you have added the tomatoes, you need to crank up the heat in the last 10-12 minutes, so that the entire mix is dried up and takes on a lovely browned colour. Season with salt. This dish is dry-ish in consitency with the 'masala' sticking to the chicken pieces.

Serve garnished with fresh cilantro with Chapatis/Parathas or a Vegetable Pulao. Dont forget a simple fresh salad too!