I had already marked up in my mind that if the state for this month’s Shh Cooking Secretly Challenge would be Punjab, I would make it a point to participate. Why not? The food of Punjab is always said to be rich, warm and welcoming. Whether it is the Butter Chicken, Palak Paneer or Dal Tadka, every dish evokes a lot of gastronomic feel in anybody who eats it. As soon as the announcement was up and I waited patiently for my assigned partner.
Punjab is a beautiful state in the north that is mainly known for their agricultural prowess. The word “Punjab” means, “five rivers”, signifying the five rivers that run through the state. The state has gone through a lot during historical times and now part of it lies in Pakistan. Punjab shares its capital Chandigarh with its neighboring state Haryana. The food of the state is very down to earth, very dependent on the agricultural produce and use a lot of ghee in their cooking. Punjabis are known for their zeal for life, their colorful attires, their festivities and celebrations. Their way of life reflects in their food as well.
This month, I work hand in hand with Seema, who I am coordinating with for the first time for this challenge. I have had some warm exchanges with her in the past and I knew for an instance that she would make my life easy. Can you imagine what ingredients she gave me? Onion and chilies! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I mean there are very few gravies that doesn’t use these two ingredients. I in-turn gave her garlic and cumin, and you must check out what she cooked for this challenge. 🙂
OK, so coming back to the recipe I made for this challenge… A very rich gravy that is fit for occasions! The name of the dish itself has royalty attached to it. Somehow I wanted to make a new dish that would be enjoyed by everyone in the house. My girls are not very fond of spicy food, so such gravies are always welcome. The first link I landed up was a very complicated recipe, that I was doubtful of creating. As I read through more posts, I found that the recipe wasn’t that difficult to make! True to its name, the gravy is rich with the cream and milk added to it. The curry uses very limited spices that shines through. The cardamom is what lends the pop of flavors in this dish. Each bite of the gravy is a total bliss. We got some roomali rotis from the nearby bakery and literally licked through the pan. This gravy would be amazing some jeera rice as well. Off to the recipe…
- FOR MARINATION:
- 750 gm chicken, cut into medium pieces, washed and drained
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 2 heaped tbsp yogurt
- ¼ tsp salt
- FOR GRAVY:
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 3 green chillies, slit
- 125 gm thick cream
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ tsp cardamom powder
- ¼ tsp dry ginger powder
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tbsp kasuri methi
- Salt to taste
- Coriander leaves and crushed fried onions to serve (optional)
- Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients mentioned under "for marination" for as much as possible. You can keep minimum 15 minutes or if you have the time, then you can marinate overnight.
- Heat ghee in a pan. Add the onion and green chillies and saute till wilted.
- Add the chicken along with all the marination. Cook till the chicken oozes out its stocks and is half cooked.
- Add in the cream and milk, and cook till the chicken is fully done, stirring in between. The sauce will thicken.
- Add in the cardamom, dry ginger, pepper and garam masala powders and cook for a few more minutes.
- Finally crush in the kasuri methi and season with salt. Serve hot with coriander leaves and crushed fried onions (optional) along with naan or rice.