Friday, September 26, 2008

Chicken Do Pyaza

This is the first chicken curry that I cooked all by myself. I was a lanky teenager then who was extremely fond of cooking. One fine day, with this recipe from my older cousin, I was confident enough to cook it all by myself. I didn't want anyone in the kitchen as I wanted to do everything. In spite of my ultimatum, my dad hovered around, worrying I might get hurt due to my so-called clumsiness! I am happy to say that the curry turned out to be a winner and I had no injuries!!:-D

Later during my initial "blender/mixer less" days in America, I made this curry often as it does not need any grinding - you can always use mortal & pestle for making ginger-garlic paste. But no grinding does not necessarily mean no hard work. The whole thing of making this curry a success, is chopping the heaps of onions (and shedding tons of tears!!) and sauteing them till they are nicely browned. and that really takes forever!!:-D

Chicken Do Pyaza

1 lb Chicken, boneless, skinless, cubed
2 lb thinly sliced red onions
3 tbsp Ghee (I used 1 tbsp canola oil)
3 tsp Chili Powder
½ tsp. Turmeric Powder
2-3 big Tomatoes Sliced
¼ Cups curds
salt to taste

Khada Masala/Whole Spices
2 Cloves
1 Cardamom
2 Bay leaves
2 Cinnamon

Grind or crush
2” Ginger
5 Garlic cloves
seeds of 1 cardamom

2 tbsp coriander leaves /cilantro, chopped

1. Grind or crush the cardamom seeds, ginger and garlic to a fine paste . Marinate the chicken pieces with this paste. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. Heat ghee or oil. Add onions. Fry till golden brown. Saute on a low flame. This is the most crucial step. It may take forever!!:-D I guess, around 45 to 60 minutes to be more precise!!
3. Add bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom.
4. Add tomatoes, turmeric powder, chili powder. Fry well till tomatoes are reduced to a soft pulp. 5. Now add chicken pieces, and ½ cup water.
6. Add whisked curds.
7. Cook on low fire.
8. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves on top
9. Serve hot Rumali Roti or Naan & lemon wedges.

Note -
1. Sometimes I let all the water evaporate to make this curry thick or sometimes I keep some gravy to it. Both versions taste good.
2. You can adjust the quantity of garlic cloves depending on the size as American garlic cloves are humongous!!
3. You can use pressure cooker to expedite the process. Simply saute the onions in the pressure cooker, pan or handi. And after adding chicken and water, cook for 3-4 whistles. Let the pressure drop of its own. Open the lid & then simmer if you want the moisture to evaporate.
4. Though the recipe does not ask for it, I always marinate chicken with some ginger-garlic paste & turmeric powder & refrigerate till ready to use.
5. In my opinion, onion chopper does not work well for this recipe. First of all the onions need to be thinly sliced. The Onion chopper makes extremely small pieces with just way too much moisture. You decide!!

My very first chicken curry is my entry to Shrilekha's Chicken Event.


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