Thursday, December 31, 2009

Kaju Chicken in Kaala Masala

I lifted the original version of this recipe from a great cookbook i got titled '50 great curries of india'. I can make a decent curry, but i still haven't managed to make a curry that tastes quite as strong and flavour packed as what you can get in any Indian restaurant.

The most important thing in making this dish is to ensure that you blend the ingredients as finely as possible. Failure to do so will result in an unappealing texture, and a visual that suggests the curry sauce has curdled. Not good peeps!

Also, go out and buy some ghee! Ghee is a clarified butter used commonly in Indian cuisine. Because it's clarified it means it has a much higher smoke point than regular butter, but still imparts a flavor to foods that vegetable oils can never match. You can pick up ghee in the international section of a good supermarket. 

Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 1 kg skinless thicken thighs
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 100gm grated coconut (fresh if you keep it around)
  • 1 2cm cube of ginger, chopped
  • 2 1/2 tbs coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5 dried chillis
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 200gm raw cashews
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 tbsp ghee or oil 
  • Salt to taste

Heat the oven to 175 degrees and toast the cashews for 10 minutes then set aside.
In a large frying pan free of oil or fat, roast the coconut, garlic, chillis, ginger, and spices for 5 minutes on medium heat.

Add the onions and half of the cashews and saute for a further 10 minutes.

Once cooled slightly, process this mixture. This is the part where you must get the paste as fine as possible.

The above is NOT fine enough!

This is much better. We want smooth peanut butter, not crunchy.
Heat the ghee in a pot on medium heat and add the cashew spice mixture and fry for 10 minutes.
Add the chicken thighs and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add 600ml of water and the conver and leave to cook on a low heat for 20 minutes.
Remove the lid, and continue to cook until the sauce thickens to the desired level.
When close to serving, stir through the remaining cashews.

Serve with safron rice and cachumber.

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