100 Almond Chicken.
Matt and I are testing out various Indian recipes; in part because we love Indian food, and also because we need to develop a menu for our Thanksgiving dinner.
While putting away several frozen items after we returned from our grocery shopping trip, I got frustrated with all the bags of nuts in our freezer. The hazelnuts fell out. Two different bags of almonds: one with whole nuts and the other sliced. I tossed the hazelnuts on the counter, so Matt could use them for pesto. Matt suggested we should look for an Indian chicken recipe calling for almonds (and curry leaves, if we could find it; we have a bag of them in the fridge), and came up with this:
Badami Murgh - Chicken Curry with One Hundred Almonds (North India)
3 lb. roasting chicken
5 medium onions
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons ghee
3 teaspoons finely chopped garlic _
3 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
I tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon chili powder, optional
3 teaspoons salt
3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander or mint leaves
100 blanched almonds
oil for frying
1 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon garam masala
Cut chicken into curry pieces. Peel onions, chop 3 onions finely and slice the remaining 2 very fine. Heat ghee and oil in a large heavy saucepan and fry the 2 sliced onions, stirring, until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the chopped onion, garlic and ginger to the oil left in pan and fry on low heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft and turning golden. Long, slow cooking at this stage is essential if the curry is to have good flavor.
Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, fennel and chili powder and fry, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Add salt, tomatoes and half the fresh herbs, stir well and cook until tomatoes are pulpy. Cover pan to hasten this process, but uncover and stir now and then to ensure mixture does not stick to base of pan.
Put in the chicken pieces and stir well so that each piece is coated with the mixture. Cover pan and cook on very low heat for 40 minutes or until chicken is tender. Meanwhile heat oil and fry half the almonds until golden. Grind remaining almonds. Beat the yogurt with a fork until it is quite smooth and stir into the curry together with the fried almonds. Simmer 5 minutes, uncovered. Stir in the garam masala, reserved fried onions, ground almonds and remaining chopped herbs. Heat through and serve.
It takes forever; the first step, frying the onions, is not something you want to be doing when Law & Order: Criminal Intent comes on (oh, wait...that's just me). Cooking a large quantity of onions on low heat till golden and soft? Takes a long time.
But, the flavor was quite lovely, and the almonds were tasty. We would definitely make it again, although we'd make a point of starting earlier in the day!
Matt made the pooris; he got the recipe out of one of many Indian cookbooks. I can't recall which one at the moment, but I'm sure he could tell you.