Sunday, April 17, 2011

Indian Cilantro Chicken (Dhaniya Murgh)

Indian food used to intimidate me. I thought every dish would be made up of lots of spices I'd never heard of and ingredients that would be hard to find. Luckily, I was wrong. Very, very wrong. This chicken was one of the first Indian dishes I ever made and it continues to be a favorite. It's easy to make and is so flavorful. I never thought Indian food could be easy, but some of it is.

Serve this over some rice, preferably basmati or cardamom cilantro rice, along with cucumber raita on the side and you have yourself a very satisfying dinner. It tastes like you went to a gourmet Indian restaurant, but it only takes you 40 to 45 minutes. Make your rice and raita while the chicken is simmer and everything will be ready around the same time. This also re-heats really well, so don't worry if you have leftovers.

The kitchen has been smelling like spices for 45 minutes and I want to dig in. I have a one track mind when it comes to food, so I will leave you with this amazing recipe. Just take my word on this one and try it out! It's not what I call spicy, but it has a tiny kick to it. If that's not your thing, just reduce the crushed red pepper flakes by half.

Adapted from Ismail Merchant's Passionate Meals
Serves 4 to 6
Total time: up to 45 minutes

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon tumeric
1 tablespoon garam masala
3 pounds chicken thighs
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons plain yogurt

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When melted, add the oil, garlic, ginger, salt, red pepper flakes, tumeric, and garam masala. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes (do not skip this steps, it brings out the flavor of the spices).

Add the chicken and fry for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cilantro and yogurt and stir. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

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