Dum ka murgh (slow cooked chicken curry)

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Posting a chicken curry after a really really long time. Some of us BB-ians realised it was National Curry Week and decided to do a curry post together. Of course its the last day of the event, but better late than never right? 

I love a good chicken curry. In fact its my favourite past time to keep browsing the internet for new chicken curry recipes and bookmarking every one of them that comes my way. I have a few delicious favourites, which keep making its way through to our tables, but never to the blog because I find photographing any sort of curry incredibly difficult. I keep taking pictures each time I make a nice curry, but then they never look nice. Its mostly the styling, which I’m stuck with.

Which is why, I was pleasantly surprised at how these pictures turned out. I had initially put the curry in a brown bowl and the colour combinations just didn’t work. I was all ready to give up, when I thought I’ll try it in the beautiful blue bowl which I’d picked up from this gorgeous Polish pottery store called Blue Dot Pottery. The red curry worked well with the blue pottery and it was a pleasure working with that set up. Half of my worries are over if I manage to get the styling right, which brings me to the Bloggers’ Buzz Photography Club (#BBPC) which we run every month. We get together in a central London location, do a couple of food photography exercises and learn from each other. If you are not in London, then you can of course join us online where we’d give a theme a month. Email us at [email protected] if you want to give it a go. We are all amateurs trying to learn a thing or two about food photography, so please don’t feel intimidated. All you need is a camera and some food to shoot 🙂

I have tasted dum ka murgh at various restaurants and it wasn’t really a big hit with me. I am not claiming this is the best curry I’ve ever had, but surely one of the nicer ones. It pairs well with naans and parathas and the good thing about this recipe (sans the frying of onions) is how you don’t need to saute various ingredients at various stages etc, but just add the chicken, close with a tight lid and let it cook in its own juices. 

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Chicken- 500 gms with bones, cleaned and cut into medium pieces

Oil- enough to fry

Onions- 2 medium, finely chopped

Cinnamon stick- 1 inch

Cardamom pods- 2

Cloves- 2

Whole peppercorn- 4

Green chillies- 2 slit (optional)

To marinate

Yoghurt- 1/4 cup

Almond powder- 3 tbsp (grind with some water to make a paste)

Garam masala- 1 tsp

Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp

Kashmiri chilli powder- 1/4 tsp

Tomato ketchup/ paste- 1 tbsp (I used ketchup)

Coriander leaves- 1 tbsp, finely chopped

Mint leaves- 1 tbsp, finely chopped

Ginger paste- 1/2 tbsp

Garlic paste- 1/2 tbsp

Lemon juice- 1 tbsp

Salt- to taste

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Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onions till golden brown and crispy. You need to keep stirring this at intervals, so it fries evenly. Also make sure you don’t burn it.

Drain on paper towels and keep aside.

In a large bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients.

Crush the fried onions, reserving about a tbsp of it, and add to the marinade. Mix well.

Add the chicken and thoroughly rub in the marinade. Keep covered in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

When ready to cook, heat the remaining oil (from frying) and throw in the spices and green chilli. Sauté till it gets all fragrant.

Add the marinated chicken and fry in the oil for a couple of minutes.

Cover with a tight fitting lid, reduce heat to medium and cook the chicken for about 20 minutes.

Check once or twice in between to give it a quick mix and if you feel that the water is really less, add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup, mix well and continue cooking with the lid closed.

Do a taste test and check if salt levels are good and if the chicken is cooked. 

The curry is ready when you see a thin layer of oil that’s separated from the gravy.

Garnish with the remaining fried onions and some coriander leaves just before serving.

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Notes: I did the mistake of adding the almond powder on its own without grinding it to a paste and so kept getting the grainy texture in the gravy. Not pleasant, so make sure you grind it.

Its not spicy at all, so add more green chilli/ chilli powder if needed.

Add a dash of cream at the end, just before taking it off heat for some extra richness.

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