Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Murgh Masala (Spicy Indian Chicken)

This is another great Indian recipe that I got from my mom. I'm still convinced Ismail Merchant's cookbook has some of the best Indian recipes and this one passes the test. It's a pretty easy dish to make and doesn't require any special kitchen equipment. The ingredients, as with most Indian dishes, are an investment the first time around. Once you have the spices stocked in your pantry, you'll probably be more likely to try similar recipes.

If you enjoy Indian food as much as I do, this recipe is a keeper. If you like really spicy food, you can add another chile. If you prefer you food milder, this recipe will still be delicious, just use a milder chile or half a jalapeno. If you find your end result to be too hot, you can always mix in a little more plain yogurt. In the original recipe, a whole chicken is used (skinned and cut into pieces), but I find it much easier and just as great with chicken thighs. This dish is great the next day if you have any leftovers.

Recipe from Ismail Merchant's Passionate Meals
Serves 6

2 to 3 tablespoons oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 hot green chile (I use serrano)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (can use crushed red pepper as well)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
2-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and grated
3 to 4 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (can cut into chunks or keep whole)
1/4 cup plain yogurt

Pour the oil into a large saucepan with a lid and cook over low heat until hot. Add the onions and jalapeno and cook until the onions brown (this usually takes longer than you expect). Add the garlic, garam masala, salt, ground red pepper, and turmeric. Continue to cook another 2 or 3 minutes. Mix in the tomatoes and ginger and cook another 5 to 7 minutes until the spices are well incorporated. Add the chicken pieces and yogurt and mix thoroughly. Cover the saucepan and let the dish simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

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