November 11, 2011

Achari chicken

Last month when I was celebrating our greatest festival away from all the festivity, I decided to cook something good for each day of the festival. I tried several new recipes that will maybe appear in the blog some other time. The most important day of course had to have a complete Indian menu and chicken. Yet, in an effort to cook something new, I selected this recipe. Achar is pickle in Indian languages. It is much different from the vinegar soaked baby vegetables. It is bite size pieces of different fruits or vegetables in a complicated mixture of various whole spices and mustard oil that is sun dried for long and then stored in glass jars. Then for every lunch and dinner, it is used as condiment. Therefore, like its namesake, this particular chicken recipe uses different whole spices to give it an intricate flavor. Mustard oil and chilies make it spicy, while dried mango powder and lemon juice adds to the tartness. The result is a same finger-licking dish as the achar. It made the my festive day delicious!

You can print the recipe for your kitchen here: PRINTABLE RECIPE

(Serves 4)

750gm medium sized chicken pieces (boneless, skinless)
1/2sp fenugreek seeds
1 + 1/2sp mustard seeds
1sp cumin seeds
1sp fennel seeds
1/2sp nigella seeds or onions seeds
2 dried whole red chilies
2tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 large onion
1 large tomato
1/2sp turmeric powder
2sp red chili powder (or to taste)
1 green chili
1cup lightly beaten yoghurt
1tbsp lemon juice
1/2sp dried mango powder
Mustard oil


1.       Heat oil in a wok. Add the mustard, fenugreek, cumin, fennel, nigella seeds, whole red chilies. Saut√© until they start to crackle. (Take care the oil is hot enough before adding the spices so they do not burn.)
2.       Slice the onion and chop the tomato.
3.       Add the onion in the wok, and fry until golden brown and soft.
4.       Now add ginger garlic paste, chopped tomatoes, turmeric and chili powder.
5.       Mix well and cook on medium heat for a few minutes until the oil leaves the sides of the wok.
6.       Add the chicken pieces and mix well so that each piece is covered with the spice mixture. Season it with salt.
7.       Cook on medium heat with occasional stirring for about 10 minutes.
8.       Add 1/2cup water and cook covered on low heat until the chicken pieces are tender and succulent.
9.       Add the yoghurt, whole green chili and a pinch of sugar.
10.   Cook on low heat for a couple of minutes (so that the yoghurt do not curdle).
11.   Add dried mango powder and lemon juice.
12.   Stir to mix and remove from heat.

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