Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Malai Murgh / Chicken in a Creamy Curry

Malai Murgh is hearty chicken preparation with minimal spices and rich creams. I was going through a very old and perhaps one of the first Bengali and Indian cookbook, where I saw that in most of the preparations coconut milk was considered as the malai or cream. It might be because of the unavailability of the heavy cream in the market at that time or just that, at that time, people considered coconut milk as the cream or malai. Because even when it comes to the very famous Bengali Chingrir Malaikari / Prawn Malaikari, we see the use of thick high quality homemade coconut milk and not the heavy cream that we are so familiar with now.

how to make Malai Murgh recipe / Chicken in a Creamy Curry recipe

Whatever may be the reason, it’s a known fact that coconut milk gives a nice, creamy and smooth consistency and texture to the curry, without making it feel like coconut. So when I thought about making Malai Murgh...I thought to give the coconut milk a try!! Using coconut milk, heavy cream and thick yogurt altogether gave this curry a very rich flavour and taste. Its not an everyday chicken curry but a tempting one with least effort when you are in a hurry and you have a crowd to feed. Besides, it goes with anything, pulao, rice, chapatti, naan...whatever you can think of.

how to make Malai Murgh recipe / Chicken in a Creamy Curry recipe

Malai Murgh / Chicken in a Creamy Curry
Serves 4-6

how to make Malai Murgh recipe / Chicken in a Creamy Curry recipe

1 kg chicken (boneless preferable)
1 and ½ medium onions – chopped
6 fat cloves of garlic – paste
1 inch ginger – paste
½ cup thick yogurt / hung curd
2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup of thick coconut milk
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
A few fresh coriander leaves – chopped
3-4 green chillies – slit
Juice of 1 lime
8-10 white peppercorns
4-5 black peppercorns
1 small cinnamon stick
3 cloves
3 green cardamoms 1 bay leaf
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp ghee (optional)

Dry roast the peppercorns and then ground them to a fine but a little coarse powder. Keep aside.
Marinate the chicken with half of the ginger-garlic paste, salt, lime juice and hung curd / thick yogurt for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Heat the oil and ghee in a kadai and temper it with the cinnamon stick, cloves, green cardamoms and bay leaf. Sauté them in the oil for half a minute or until the oil becomes aromatic and then add the chopped onions to them.
Sprinkle some salt and cook the onions until lightly golden in the edges and translucent.
Now add the rest of the ginger – garlic paste and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes or until the raw garlic flavour is gone.
Add the turmeric powder and red chilli powder and sauté for some time allowing the masalas to cook.
Add the chicken pieces along with its marinade into the kadai.
Sprinkle some salt over them and cook the chicken pieces, turning after every 2-3 minutes until they change their colour.
If you are using boneless chicken then it will not take too much time to cook, but if you are using chicken pieces on bone, then give them some time to cook. If needed, add some water and put cover and cook until the chicken is almost done.
Now add the heavy cream, coconut milk and hald of the pepper powder.
Give a nice and good stir and let it come to a boil.
Simmer on medium flame until the curry thickens and the oil starts to float on top.
Sprinkle the rest of the pepper powder and the garam masla powder.
Stir to mix.
Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Put off the flame and serve hot with some chopped fresh coriander leaves on top of it.

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