29 March 2008

Mughlai Chicken with Rice Pulau

Mughlai Chicken with Rice Pulau

Kirsten of Dine & Dish is the founder of the Adopt a Blogger program. Bloggers that have been blogging for a year or more are paired with a "newbie" blogger to answer any questions they might have and to help them to enjoy the experience of blogging. I would have loved it if this program were in place when I first started blogging. Not that I didn't find many very helpful and generous bloggers out there willing to answer a question or two about what may seem like the simplest of things for a seasoned blogger. It is a constant learning experience even now.

I was paired with the talented and intuitive N33ma at Recipe Swap . We have in fact adopted each other because she is attempting to demistify East Indian cooking for me with all it's exotic spices and melding of intricate flavours. We both love chicken, so, I decided to start with her families' favourite dish Mughlai Chicken. N33ma's original recipe can be found here . N33ma says, "I have never made Mughlai chicken in India. I made it only after we moved to the States. In India there are so many restaurants that you don't really need to make such dishes at home but many do make them. The first time I made this it was amazing!! I was so glad that it came out better than what I expected. My husband and friends love the dish and I make it for our parties too."

To have the flavours meld together I allowed the dish to sit for a few hours and served it up later in the day with a Rice Pulau. It was tubular...that's the valley girl in me!!! Creamy and flavourful with tender bites of chicken. This is the very first East Indian dish I have prepared with the exception of Raita and Tandoori Chicken on the BBQ. Thank you N33ma!!!

**Mughlai Chicken**

(1-inch) piece ginger, peeled
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
4 tablespoons ground almonds
1/2 cup water
5 cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
2 bay leaves
4 cloves
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 pounds boned chicken thighs, each cut into 2
2 onions, finely chopped
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sultanas (golden raisins)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup flaked almonds, toasted, to garnish

Put the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, and chili into a food processor, or into a mortar and pestle, and blend to a paste. Add the ground almonds and water and then blend again, set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the chicken pieces - in batches so they fry rather than stew - and cook them just long enough to seal on both sides, then remove to a dish.

Add the spices and turn them in the oil. Add the onions and cook them until softened and lightly browned, but keep the heat gentle and stir frequently, to avoid sticking. Pour in the blended paste, and cook everything until it begins to colour. Add the yogurt, half a cup at a time stirring it in to make a sauce, then stir in the stock, cream, and sultanas.

Put the browned chicken back into the pan, along with any juices that have collected under them, and sprinkle over the garam masala, sugar, and salt. Cover and cook on a gentle heat for 20 minutes, testing to make sure the meat is cooked through.

It's at this stage, that I like to take the pan off the heat and leave it to cool before reheating later on in the day.

So either now, or when you've reheated it, pour into a serving dish and scatter with the toasted flaked almonds. Serve with Rice Pilau.


**Rice Pilau**

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves
3 cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick, broken into 3
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds, optional
2 1/2 cups basmati rice
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted, for garnish
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Cook the onion in the oil, in a deep saucepan with the cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, and nigella seeds, if using, until the onion is slightly browned and soft. Keep the heat medium to low and stir frequently; this should take about 10 minutes.

Add the rice and stir until it is slicked and glossy, then pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Cover the pan with a lid and cook over the lowest heat possible for 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat, take the lid off, cover with a tea towel and clamp the lid back on the saucepan. You can leave the rice to rest like this for at least 10 minutes, and up to about 1 hour. Run a fork through the rice when you are ready to serve it, scattering the toasted sliced almonds and cilantro on top.

NOTE: N33ma cooks by instinct, but I needed an actual recipe to recreate this dish. This dish comes from Nigella Lawson.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. I'm such a fan of Adopt-a-Blogger! I've adopted two blogs, and we are all learning from each other. None of us do much Indian cooking, though I have made mughlai chicken before. How wonderful to be learning new recipes from your blogging partner!

  2. What a lovely program. I wish I had someone to adopt me six months ago when I started blogging. This recipe sounds fantastic and your photos make me want to grab some from the screen.

  3. Like the Greeks, the Indians make a fine use of yoghurt in their dishes...I love the creamy/heat of this.

  4. What a delicious dish. I am terrible at indian cooking. I can never get anything to taste nice. So your results are encouraging. With the right advice it can be done.

    I just noticed your little tag line about being yourself, I love it!!!!

  5. I don't think I've yet tackled Indian food, but it looks like you've made quite a success of it!

    I'm still waiting to be adopted myself :)

  6. Good gravy! That dish looks out of this world! The recipe has me salivating! I've got to try this one.

    I couldn't believe I missed adopt-a-blogger. I had been so busy at the time and never found out about it until it was too late :( Hopefully, I'll get another chance sometime.

  7. You're ROCKING the blogging world Val!! The dish looks finger licking good. YUM!! Would love to adopt or be adopted...where do I go? Lemme know when you have time...hope you had a good breakfast!! Ciao

  8. I love Indian food and this dish looks as if it really delivers. Thanks for posting this very exotic recipe.

  9. Oh wow Bellini .. authentic Indian food and you have passed with flying colours.. !! Great job !!

  10. I enjoy the Adopt a Blogger program as well Lydia:D
    It was very good sis Ivy & Peter; there is sometimes a misconception that East Indian food is hot but this dish is just flavourful.
    Yes it can be done KJ.
    I hope you're adopted soon Recipe Girl. I know that Kirsten is waiting for more bloggers that have been blogging for 1 year or more to sign up for the second round...this one is for you as well Sticky Susan and Passionate:D
    Thank you Noble & Swati:D

  11. Your recipe is much more authentic than what I made.........way to go Val and it looks soooooo good.

  12. Oh that sounds good. Terrifyingly rich, but so, so good.

  13. That chicken sounds pretty tasty.

  14. You pair so well together Val! I wish my blogger pal was like you... she simply dissapeared from the scene... I think real life is taking all her time... Oooooohhhh

    The Mughlai chicken looks great :D

  15. This looks delicious Val - a real treat!

    N33ma has some lovely looking recipes too - this is a great way to find new places to browse!


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