Thursday, April 18, 2013

Aloo Gobhi Murghi- Chicken with Potatoes and Cauliflower

Indian cooking often combines meat with vegetables and most homes have their favourite combos. Apart from the Biryanis and Pulaos, we do have curries and stir fries too, which make good use of random vegetables lying in your pantry along with meat. A very popular curry is of goat meat with turnips- gosht+shaljam. Bengalis are very fond of combining their fish with seasonal veggies. Makes for a sumptous and nutrition packed meal. Up north where I come from, meat eating homes usually tend to cook goat meat with vegetables like Okra, Turnips, Carrots, Cauliflowers and ofcourse everyone's favourite, Potatoes. It is fuss free, tasty and you know you are getting your daily dose of fibres/vitamins/minerals etc from eating those vegetables.

I usually stick to tradtional, desi cooking for our everyday meals. However, the recipe I am sharing today is not your traditional, run of the mill one. For one, we dont really cook chicken with vegetables, like I said, it is usually goat meat. Unless we are making a chinese inspired 'chin-dian' dish! Which is totally different and requires a blog post of it's own. The thing is, last week I happened to go to the local wholsale vegetable market and came back with truckloads of veggies. The results were not pleasant. We are only 2.5 people in this house. Who love meat. Who are not foodies really, who eat to survive I think. Vegetables are eaten here because they 'must' be. Who would finish off all those mind boggling variety of vegetables I got? I mean, how much salad and soups can one eat? And this family? Not likely. So in a moment of some timely inspiration, I got this idea of combining a rather huge cauliflower with some boneless chicken and fresh spring onions. The result was pretty good if I may say so myself. Have a look and try it out, you might be pleasantly surprised. You will need:

1/2 kg of boneless chicken breast pieces, cubed
A medium sized cauliflower cut in to chunky florets
2 medium sized potatoes, diced

1 large red onion, sliced fine
1 bunch of green onions-the leafy part, chopped fine
2 large tomatoes, chopped fine
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1' ginger jullienes
3-4 fresh green chillies, slit
1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves
1 large lemon, to squeeze over later

Dry roast and crush the following:

1 tbsp corriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black pepper
5-6 green cardamoms
2' cinnamon stick
1tsp shahi zeera, black cumin seeds
6-7 cloves
Dry roast in a non stick pan untill browned, cool and crush coarsely.

1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
1tsp of chaat masala(optional)
1tbsp desi ghee(optional)
4-5 tbsp of any cooking oil, I used mustard oil. Please do not use coconut oil though, as this is a typically north Indian dish.

You start off by heating the oil. Tip in the bay leaf and red onions and brown well on high heat. Add the giner garlic paste next. Brown untill the raw smell is gone. Now put in the chicken pieces. Brown all of this on high heat. In about 10 minutes, add the potatoes and continue to cook now on a medium flame for about 5 minutes. Now you add the green onion stalks and the cauliflower florets. Give it all a good mix, cover and cook on low for about 5-8 minutes. When you remove the lid after a few minutes, you will notice that the cauliflower is softening while the rest of the ingredients have taken on a darker colour. Go ahead and add the ground spices, turmeric powder, red chilli powder  and salt to taste. Mix and stir again. The dish has been cooking for a good 20 minutes by now.

The last cookinng bit requires you to put the pot on 'dum', spread the chopped tomatoes, mint leaves, ginger jullienes, green chillies, the chaat masala, squeeze the lemon juice all over, cover and cook on very low heat for at least 15 minutes. The tomatoes will release a fair bit of moisture. Once the 15 minutes are up, open lid, increase the heat to medium-high, stir and mix vigrously. Let any moisture released evaporate and the dish become more 'browned' and dryish

Just before it goes on 'dum". 

 Also, add the desi ghee now or just before serving. Serve with hot Chapatis and a cucumber Raita.

  You could easily cook this with lamb, goat, beef etc. The cooking time will ofcourse vary and be longer than boneless chicken. Enjoy the diffrent combos and let me know. :)

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