Taj maholla! chicken

  • For the chicken
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 50g minced garlic
  • 20g minced ginger
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp garam masala, recipe follows
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate juice
  • 900kg skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
  • For the garam masala
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 whole cardamom seeds, crushed
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • For the butter sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g diced red onion
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala, recipe follows
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the chicken:
1) Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. In large saute pan, over medium heat, heat the oil, add the garlic and ginger and slowly cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chili powder, turmeric, garam masala and pomegranate juice. Allow to cool slightly.

2) Rub the chicken well with the mixture and bake in a shallow baking pan for 25 minutes. The chicken will be three-quarters cooked. Allow the chicken to cool and when it is cool to the touch, remove the bones and shred the meat into 1cm pieces. Set aside.

For the garam masala:
1) In a small saute pan, over medium-high heat, lightly toast the spices beginning with the cumin and coriander. Toast until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2) Add the peppercorns and cardamom and continue to toast another minute. Add the cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf and toast another minute.

3) In a spice grinder, grind the toasted spices to a fine powder. Keep the spice blend stored in a tightly seared container for up to 4 weeks.
Yield: 50ml.

For the butter sauce:
1) In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over a medium high heat. Saute the onions, ginger and garlic until light brown, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue sauteing until they begin to fall apart, about 5 minutes.

2) Add the spices and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the puree back to the pan and add the cream and butter. Bring to a simmer and reduce for 5 minutes.

3) Add the shredded chicken and saute for 6 minutes more until the chicken is cooked through. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with basmati rice, if desired.

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