Mild and creamy Shahi Murgh never fails to please. Even though it sounds fancy, it actually isn't complicated to cook. Shahi Murgh is an Indian restaurant staple and on the list of most-ordered dishes. Serve Shahi Murgh with chapatis, parathas or just with plain boiled rice, depending of course on what your family fancies on the day. You can also add a Kachumbar salad to round off the meal.
- 20 cashews or almonds
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of vegetable cooking oil
- 5 cloves
- 8 to 10 black peppercorns
- 2-inch piece of cinnamon
- 1-star anise
- 5 cardamom pods, split
- 2 small or 1 large bay leaf
- 1 large onion, chopped very fine
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken pieces (2-inch cubes, thighs preferable)
- 1/2 cup thick, unsweetened cream
Grind the almonds or cashews to a fine powder in a food processor. Set aside.
Heat the vegetable/canola/sunflower cooking oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot, on medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add all the whole spices and sauté until they begin to turn darker in color and slightly fragrant. It means they are ready.
Next, add the finely chopped onions and fry until they begin to turn a pale golden color. This should take between 5 to 10 minutes.
Now add the ginger and garlic paste and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and all the powdered spices, including the garam masala. Also, add the salt. Stir to mix everything well and fry the masala, frequently stirring, until the oil begins to separate from it. Frequent stirring will prevent burning and will also ensure an evenly browned masala. The oil separating from the masala is a sign that it is well cooked. This results in smooth, well-amalgamated flavors.
Add the chicken and stir to coat it fully with the masala. Sauté until the chicken is sealed.
Add 6 ounces of hot water to the pot, stir well and cover the pot. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the chicken is tender.
When the chicken is done, add the thick cream and stir well. Continue to cook until most of the gravy has dried off. The result should be a dish with thick gravy.
Turn off the heat and serve Shahi Murgh with chapatis, parathas, jeera rice or plain boiled rice.