Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Almond Chicken

Almond Chicken, as its name suggests, is a delicious chicken curry with almonds. Yogurt, spices, and nuts mix together to form a creamy thick curry that is full of flavors. I had a great time cooking Almond Chicken and had my mind blown when I tasted it alongside some boiled rice. This Korma can be paired with hot chapaatis or naan and can also be devoured with boiled or lightly seasoned rice.

  • Marination:
    • Chicken - 1/2 kg You can either use boneless or bone pieces, it doesn't matter
    • Oil - 2 tbsp.
    • Red Chili Powder (Pissi Laal Mirach)- 1/2 tsp. or adjust according to your taste
    • Salt - 1/2 tsp.
    • Coriander Powder (Pisa Dhaniya) - 1/2 tsp.
    • Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp.
    • Turmeric Powder (Haldi) - 1/4 tsp.
    • Yogurt - 2 tbsp.
    • Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp.
    • To Cook the Curry:
      • Onions - 1/2 large one, thinly sliced
      • Oil
      • Bay Leaf - 1 leaf
      • Cardamom (Elaichi) - 2 whole
      • Cloves (Laung) - 3
      • Cinnamon Stick (Dalchini) - 2 inch stick
      • Green Chilies - To taste
      • Almonds - About 20 to 25 (a handful)
      • Yogurt - 1/2 cup
      • Salt - To taste
      • Cilantro (Hara Dhanya) - 4 tbsp. chopped and more for garnish (optional)

    Set aside the chicken pieces for marination first. In a large bowl mix together the red chili powder (pissi laal mirach), salt, coriander powder (pisa dhaniya), garam masala, turmeric powder (haldi) in oil. Mix together and then add yogurt and ginger garlic paste. When mixed together well add the chicken pieces to it and make sure the marinade coats the chicken from all sides. Set aside while you prepare the rest.

    Next step is the almonds blanching. To do so, boil some water and pour it over the almonds so that they are fully soaked. Let it rest until the water has come to room temperature. When cool enough to touch, take the almonds one by one and peel off the skin; the skin should be able to slip off the almonds easily. Keep the blanched almonds aside.

    Heat oil in a pan and add the sliced onions, the bay leaf, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon stick to it.

    Fry till the onions are golden brown.

    Once they are golden brown, remove the onions with a slotted spoon, leaving behind as much oil as possible and transfer them to a blender. Set aside.
    In the same pan (adding oil only if needed), add the marinated chicken, cooking on medium high heat until the chicken pieces are no longer pink.

    When the pink color disappears add very little water only to dip the bottom of the chicken in and let the pieces cook till the water dries up. Stir often to prevent the chicken from sticking to the bottom of the pan. You can add the green chilies at this stage if you prefer or you could add them in at the very end while cooking the curry.

    While the chicken's water dries up make the onion almond paste. To do so add the blanched almonds to the blender that has the golden brown onions. Add yogurt as well and blend to form a thick but smooth paste.

    When the chicken is cooked so that the water has dried up and it is brown in color, add the onion-almond paste. Also add about 1/2 tsp of salt (it will be adjusted later on) and water so that the chicken pieces are fully dipped in.

    Let it boil a little then reduce the heat to medium and cook covered till the chicken is done and the curry has thickened a bit. Keep stirring occasionally to avoid sticking at the bottom of the pan.
    You can adjust how much curry you need by adding water or letting it cook uncovered so that it evaporates. Once you reach your desired consistency taste and adjust salt as per your preference, add cilantro, and leave covered for a few minutes before dishing it out and serving.

    Delicious Almond Chicken is ready to be eaten! I was unable to take a picture of the curry the first time it cooked so I took the pictures again the second time I made it. That explains why you'll see different pieces of chicken boti in the cooking/making pictures than the ones you see in the final dish!

    Doesn't it look thick, creamy, and delicious? Imagine biting into that juicy chicken and then taking a nice big mouthful of boiled rice and freshly cooked Almond Chicken ... I think I need a bucket for my drool!! Too tasty, totally one of my favorite recipes!

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