Monday, 15 October 2012

Kadhai Chicken

Pitri Paksha ends and Devi Paksha starts today. This day, Mahalaya, symbolises Maa Durga's ascent from Kailash parwat to come to her parental home. She takes five days to travel, no matter what her waahan. (This year she is taking the elephant to arrive & the boat to leave). On the 6th, shoshti, Maa is ready to be received by her folks. That is the day from which Bengalis all over the world celebrate Durga Puja. The festivities start from shoshti evening and continue till doshumi, the tenth day. 
                                                                                                  Today as Pitri Paksha ends, we also remember our ancestors and pray for their souls. Paradoxically, austerity and festivity go hand in hand this day. As a section of society starts its Navaratra fasts, the Bengali gears up for his share of food & more maach mangsho. Same days of the month, equal sense of festivity and yet such diverse food habits. Incredible Indiaindeed
                                                                                                Whichever school you belong to, savour this Kadhai Chicken. Make it whenever your faith permits you to go non-vegetarian. But banana zaroor. It is finger-licking tasty and makes you forget the restaurant fare.
                                                                                                                                     Ingredients: [serves 4-6] 
1. 1kg chicken 
2. 3 large onions- finely chopped
3. 3/4 cup cashewnut- soaked & ground
4.  1-2 tbsp- fresh cream
5. 1/2 tsp egg yellow food colour
6. Oil to cook
7. Salt to taste
For Masala Paste
1. 3 large tomato- diced
2. 1 tbsp whole garam masala
3. 1- 11/2 tbsp chopped ginger
4. 1- 11/2 tbsp garlic pods
For Dry Masala
1. 1 tsp zeera
2. 1 tsp dhania
3. 1 tsp peppercorn
4. Red chilli powder- as preferred

1. In 3-4 tbsp oil, fry the chopped onion.

2. Grind ingredients of Masala Paste by adding a little water and fry well with the chopped onion. 
3. When masala is well-fried (the raw smell goes), add the chicken pieces, salt and food colour and fry for 3-5 mins.
Add 2.5-3 cups water, cover wok and let chicken cook on medium heat for 10-12 mins. 

4. As chicken cooks, dry roast the Dry Masala ingredients and grind into powder. 

5. When chicken is tender, add the kaju paste and let simmer on medium flame till raw kaju smell goes. 
6. Add the ground dry masala and let simmer for 2-3 mins.

7. As oil leaves the sides of the pan, add fresh cream and take off flame. 
                                                                                                                                               Serve hot with fried/plain rice. 

                                                                                                        Remember: As many onions, so many tomatoes. 

May this lip-smacking dish give you the impetus to live life large!
                                                                                                  Thank you for the recipe, Lalo. Happy Pujo, friends.

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