Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Kadai Chicken

Picture a plump merry looking butler wearing a Rajah's turban and a curled up moustache?
Eh!?...Not interesting?
Alright! Let me complete the sentence,
"Picture a plump merry looking butler wearing a Rajah's turban and a curled up moustache, serving kadai chicken?"
Ah! Hah!!!  How i wish i was on the receiving end!!! Don't you?

Fortunatly or unfortunatly, when it comes to cooking, my better half, who has always been my consistant best half, takes an abrupt turn. And me longing for few homelandish extravaganzas like '10 bright sunny days at a stretch' and 'tongue burning spicy delicacies', kept blabbering about the kadai chicken - its aroma, flavour  and even the ambience of an indian restaurant, unaware of the fact that somebody's tastebuds were building sandcastles at the expense of my imagination.  And as usual poor moi, ended up being constantly nagged for kadai chicken...Eh!?...Me!!? Again!!? Digging my own grave!!? Phew!!!

Btw, there is a restaurant in Cochin, Tandoor, which serves awesome kadai chicken. It has a rich, thick spicy gravy and goes well with naan. I've tried making the dish many times, different ways and this one just came fine with sauted ground bell peppers giving it a spicy edge and a tempting aroma...

You will need...

Chicken - 1 whole cleaned and cut into medium sized pieces
Onions - 2 finely chopped
Green chillies - 5-6 slitted
Tomattoes - 1-2 finely chopped
Ginger paste - 1tbsp
Garlic paste - 1tbsp
Coriander leaves - few chopped
Green bell pepper/Capsicum - 1 finely chopped
Tomatto puree concentrate - 1 tbsp
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon - 1 inch piece broken into small pieces
Cardamom - 4
Star anise - 1
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Fennel powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp
Poppy seeds - 1 tbsp
Almonds - 5-6
Salt - to taste

To Marinate Chicken

Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp

Marinate chicken pieces and keep aside. In a kadai or non stick pan saute chopped bell pepper in oil until the sides turn golden. Keep aside. In the same kadai saute  whole masalas until cardamoms splutter. Add onions, green chillies, ginger garlic pastes and saute well. Add the masala powders, tomatto and tomatto puree. Saute well until oil leaves to the sides and all the water disappears. This will take some time. Add chicken and salt and cover and cook in medium heat. Grind the bell peppers along with the poppy seeds and almonds in some water to a smooth paste. When the chicken is almost cooked, add the ground paste and continue cooking until the gravy thickens and gets coated on the pieces. If you prefer it with more gravy adjust accordingly by adding some hot water. Garnish with coriander leaves and sprinkle lime juice. Serve hot with rice or roti.

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