Because I am happppyyyyy...clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth...
Why the unnatural cheer you may ask?
Especially since this be a savory dish and I am clearly not on a sugar high - well, it's thanks to this little round up of Pakistani foodies on Instagram featuring yours truly along with some of her personal heroes. A HUGE thanks to Sadaf the talent behind Siddy Says for doing this!
Pssst you aren't already following me on instagram then I am @flourandspiceblog.
Anyway, on to the dish of the day (yes, yes still singing "Happy" as I type this)...
Cilantro/Coriander is my favorite fresh herb. Although I love the flavors of basil, oregano and thyme the desi in me would not survive without cilantro. It brightens up every dish from a cool raita to a spicy daal. If I like hints of this stuff so much then, well, a dish like Green Masala Chicken that relies on cilantro and green chilies for it's flavorful savory base has got me hook line and sinker.
This folks is what I like to think of as my one blender version. The chicken gets cubed, the onion chopped and the rest of the ingredients get ground into a paste in the blender. Saute some onion, stir fry some chicken, throw in the paste and cook on. It's pretty straightforward and as long as you have the cilantro, green chilies and garlic in there you can play around with the other ingredients to suit your fancy.
A quick note on the spice level - 4 green chillies may seem like a lot, but a lot of the spiciness will actually cook out so if you want it to be seriously spicy then add at least 2 more. I wouldn't drop below 3 though. Just sayin'
Haray Masalay ki Murghi or Green Masala Chicken
1 lb boneless chicken cubed (use more if using bone in)
One medium onion
1 bunch of cilantro
4 green chillies
1 inch ginger (¾ tbsp ginger paste)
6-8 cloves garlic (1 tbsp garlic paste)
2 tbsp plain yogurt
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp red chilli powder + ¼ tsp of salt for sprinkling on the chicken
neutral oil for cooking
Wash your cilantro and peel and roughly chop your ginger. Now grab a blender and toss in the cilantro, green chillies, chopped ginger, garlic, yogurt, salt, cumin powder, coriander powder and ¼ cup of water. Puree the mix to a smooth green gloriousness. If it is being stubborn then feel free to stop the blender intermittently and move things around. You can add a little extra water, but just remember that extra water will add to cooking time.
Taste - it should be fresh, pungent, garlicky and spicy. Remember cooking will dilute the spice level.
Put a wok or large bottomed pan (quicker to cook than in a small one) on medium heat and add in a few tbsp of oil. While that's heating dice your onions and add them to the pan stirring occasionally till the onion becomes translucent. Add the chicken, sprinkle with red chilli powder and salt and stir fry till the raw look of the chicken is gone. Add the green paste, stir to coat the chicken, drop the heat and let it cook (covered) for 15-20 minutes. Your chicken should be cooked through.
Crank up the heat and cook, stirring frequently until the oil rises above the green masala - if it is sticking too much then add a little oil. Once it is cooked through check for seasoning, garnish with some fresh ginger or fresh chillies - or nothing at all - grab some roti or rice and dig in.
Chicken cooked in a tangy cilantro based sauce
- 1 lb boneless chicken cubed use more if using bone in
- 1 medium onion
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 4 green chillies
- 1 inch ginger ¾ tbsp ginger paste
- 6-8 cloves garlic 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 2 tbsp plain yogurt
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp red chilli powder + ¼ tsp of salt for sprinkling on the chicken
- neutral oil for cooking
Wash your cilantro and peel and roughly chop your ginger. Now grab a blender and toss in the cilantro, green chillies, chopped ginger, garlic, yogurt, salt, cumin powder, coriander powder and ¼ cup of water. Puree till smooth
Put a wok or large bottomed pan (quicker to cook than in a small one) on medium heat and add in a few tbsp of oil.
While that's heating dice your onions and add saute till the onion becomes translucent.
Add the chicken, sprinkle with red chilli powder and salt and stir fry till the raw look of the chicken is gone.
Now add the green paste, stir to coat the chicken, drop the heat and let it gently simmer (covered) for 15-20 minutes at which point your chicken should be cooked through and the oil should have risen over the masala.
Check for seasoning, garnish with some fresh ginger or fresh chillies - or nothing at all - grab some roti or rice and dig in.
If you are looking to make a looser more 'salan' like curry then add a cup of hot water, bring to a boil on high heat, reduce to a simmer and let it cook for another 10 minutes to meld.