Friday, October 17, 2008

Paalak Chicken

Here is a recipe for paalak murghi. The end result will be the spinach makes a wet gravy clinging to the chicken pieces, not a curry drowning the chicken in spinach. Don't add water to this recipe because both the spinach and the chicken will throw off water into the gravy:

3 tbs oil
1 skinless, bone-in chicken cut into 12 pieces
2 tomatoes chopped
1 onion finely chopped
5 cloves garlic crushed into a paste
1 inch piece ginger crushed into a paste
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3-4 dried red chilies whole
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 heaping tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 packet frozen chopped spinach (it will be 2.5 cups or so)
1 tsp salt or more to taste
1 tbs qasoori methi
pinch of garam masala
1 pat of butter

chopped green chiles, fresh cilantro

Heat oil, brown chicken pieces on high heat and remove from oil. Set aside. Heat oil again, add in the whole cumin and dried red chilies, then after about 30 seconds, the onions and saute, stirring frequently on high heat until they start to brown a bit and get soft (8 minutes or so). Add in garlic and ginger, stir for minute till garlic looks cooked, then toss in all the rest of the powdered spices except the garam masala, then after 30 seconds, add in the tomatoes and salt. Keep stirring on high heat for about 5 minutes and allow the tomatoes to melt down a bit. Then add the spinach in and when it is no longer in frozen chunks, add the chicken back in. Allow to bubble up once, then lower heat and cover. Keep covered for about 25 minutes on very low flame (or longer, my local chicken cooks very fast and will fall apart if I cook for longer), stirring occasionally. It is done when the chicken is cooked and the oil separates from the gravy. At this point add in the qasoori methi, garam masala, and butter. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve with basmati rice or some type of flat bread, plus plain Greek yoghurt on the side.

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