Khada Masala Loaded Chicken Curry (Whole Spices)

Khada Masala Loaded Chicken Curry

We Indians use a whole lot of spices in our kitchen and our spices are well known across the globe. In any Indian kitchen you will see a “Masala/Spice Box” which is filled with all the spices. From the basic salt, turmeric, coriander powder, chili powder, cumin seeds, etc to the whole spices such as cinnamon stick, green and black cardamom, cloves, star anise, etc etc…. These spices are not only important for their aromatic flavors and culinary details but also for the medicinal benefits they provide. We love using these spices as they not only zest up our foods but also our lives. We might not use all the whole spices for our day to day cooking but any special occasion and we bring out our whole spice box to prepare the special dishes.

The whole spices are generally called “Garam Masala” not because they are hot and spicy but because they generate a lot of heat in our body. So this chicken dish is perfect for the cold wintry days that we encounter here. Though Spring has officially started here, its still cold and such kind of food is always a blessing.

Hubby “D” is a big fan of chicken so cooking it in different ways is my latest mission. From baking, grilling, pan friend to gravy dishes, he can have chicken in any form. I was tired of making the regular onion tomato chicken dishes so decided to make it in a different way and Oh Boy I was pleasantly surprised. I could have cooked this in a pressure cooker for quick cooking but I prefer the slow cooking on low heat as it allows the chicken to soak all the flavors and one can have a flavorful and yummy dish. If you plan to use the pressure cooker then cover, lock and wait for 1-2 whistles and then turn the heat off leaving covered for another 15 minutes.

Whichever way you make I am sure you will love it. I call it “loaded’ because I have used a bunch of whole spices two ways- once for flavoring the oil for cooking and also in the spicy curry paste by grinding them with onion, chili, ginger and garlic.

So be a bit careful, it’s really hot and you will distinctly taste and feel the whole spices 🙂

Ingredients
5 Chicken Drumsticks, washed, pat dried and few slit made
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 Tsp Crushed Black Pepper
2, 1″ Cinnamon Stick
5-6 Green Cardamom
1 Black Cardamom
6-8 Cloves
8-10 Black Peppercorn
1 1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp Shahi Zeera/ Caraway Seeds
2 Bay Leaf
1 Star Anise
1 Tbsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
1 Tsp Turmeric
1 Tbsp Coriander Powder
1/2 Tbsp Cumin Powder
1 Tbsp Poppy seeds
2 Medium size Onion( 1 Finely chopped and the other roughly chopped)
3-4 Green Chilli
5-6 Garlic Cloves
1 1/2″ Ginger, roughly chopped
2-3 Tbsp Yogurt, beaten with 1/4 Cup water
3 Tbsp Oil
1 Tbsp Ghee/ Clarified butter
Handful of Cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 Tbsp Sugar
Salt to taste

Method
Marinate the chicken in lemon juice, salt and crushed black pepper for 1 hour.
Place roughly chopped onion, green chili, garlic, ginger, 1″ Cinnamon stick, half of green cardamom, black pepper corn and cloves, cumin and caraway seeds, black cardamom, 1 bay leaf, kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric, cumin and coriander powder,star anise and poppy seeds. Using little water, grind into a smooth paste.
In a pan, heat oil and add the bay leaf, balance of green cardamom, cloves, pepper corn and cinnamon stick. Let it saute for few seconds and infuse its flavor into the oil.
Now add the finely chopped onions and saute till golden brown.
Add the paste and saute till oil begins to separate. Now add the chicken and cook on high flame for 4-5 mins.
Always cook the chicken on high flame initially to seal the juices inside.Ensure that the masala coats the chicken well.
Now reduce the flame and add the yogurt. Mix well and add little water as per your desired consistency.
Let the chicken simmer (covered) for another 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally  until the chicken is cooked well and the gravy is reduced to a nice thick consistency.
Once the chicken is cooked add the sugar, ghee and handful of finely chopped cilantro. Stir well.
Cover and let it rest for 10-15 more minutes before serving with your choice of bread or rice.
We had with garma garam phulkas and riata.

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