Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Murgh Musallam (A Curry)

If you're an Indian food fan, you know it's tough to make it at home...really tough. There is just a certain amount of umami that it is impossible to purvey without a tandoor and some Hindu magic.


This one is pretty good. Yes, you need a bunch of spices, but if you head over to your nearest Indian market, you can find them for pretty cheap. Keep them in zip-lock bags, in a Tupperware container, in a dark cabinet--yes, that sounds like Storage Inception, but trust me. It's a necessary step to keep the flavor (and the powerful smell) from drifting out of the pantry. Try to get whole spices rather than ground ones. The whole ones last a few years. Ground spices start to lose their flavor and "pizzazz" over the course of a few months. 

Ingredients for Chicken Marinade

5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh pepper
1/2 cup curd or plain yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 onion chopped
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. coriander powder
6 chicken thighs, on the bone

Ingredients for Sauce

1/4 cup butter
1.5 large onions (finely chopped)
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 bay leaves
4 whole cloves
4 green cardamom pods
2 tsp roasted coriander powder
-2 tsp. salt
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 lb crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cups water

3 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
1/2 tsp saffron strands
1 tsp garam masala powder

1 Day Ahead:

Combine chicken and marinade in a zip-lock bag or Tupperware container. Shake really well until well covered. Let sit in the fridge for 24 hours. 

To Cook:

-Preheat the oven to 400F.

-Pan sear the chicken (and any remaining marinade) in a large, tall-sided pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat with some olive oil. Brown on all sides and remove from pan. 

-Add butter to the same pan. Once melted and bubbling, add 1 of the chopped onions, turmeric, bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, coriander, and SALT. Saute until softened and golden, about 7 minutes. 

-Add the tomatoes, Greek yogurt, and chili powder to the pan.

-Mash or blend the last bit of onion with the cumin seeds until it forms a paste. Rub this all over the chicken pieces and lay them in the sauce. 

-Pour over the water, cover with a lid, and place in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F. 

-Sprinkle over the cilantro, saffron, and garam masala before serving.

-Serve chicken with lots of sauce, basmati rice, naan bread, and some Bollywood!

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