Serving
(click to enlarge)

Chicken Mughlai Curry
India - North
  -   Mughlai Murgh ka Saalan
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead: 
6 main  
***
2-3/4 hr  
Yes
From the rich, warmly spiced Mughlai cuisine of northern India and Hyderabad. All or part can be done in advance, up to stirring in the Cilantro. The quantity is large (3 pounds) because it's most often a party dish. Traditionally served with Naan Bread in the north, Basmati rice also works well, or Jasmine rice for Hyderabad.



3-1/4
4
13
4
1-1/4
2
1-1/4
1/4
------
1/2
6
3
2
4
1/4
------
4
3/4
1/4
2/3
1
------
3
#
oz
oz
cl
in
T
oz
c
----
t

pod
in
t
t
----
T
c
t
t
T
----
T
Chicken meat (1)  
Onion
Onion (more)
Garlic
Ginger
Poppy seed, white
Cashews, raw
Yogurt (2)
-- Spices
Cumin seed
Chili, dried (3)
Black Cardamom (4)  
Cinnamon stick (5)
Bay Leaves
Turmeric
---------
Oil
Yogurt (2)
Garam Masala (6)
Salt
Lemon Juice
-- Garnish
Cilantro, chopped
Prep   -   (1 hr)
  1. Cut CHICKEN into chunks about 1-1/2 inches on a side, or as desired, but not smaller - or you can use half joints (see Note-1).
  2. Cut 4 oz ONION in half lengthwise and slice thin crosswise. Chop 13 oz ONION fine (see Note-7). Mix.
  3. Crush GARLIC and chop fine. Slice GINGER very thin and chop fine. Mix.
  4. Heat a tava or comal rather hot. Roast POPPY SEEDS stirring until darkened by no more than a shade. Pour out on a plate to cool. Split CASHEWS in half lengthwise (a thumbnail into the big end will usually do it). Roast stirring until very lightly browned. Cool well.
  5. Separately pound to a paste, Poppy seeds and Cashews. Both must be crushed very well so they act as a thickener. Mix and blend in 1/4 cup Yogurt so it doesn't clump.
  6. Dry pan roast Cumin Seed and grind to powder. Mix all Spices items. They are left whole (except the Cumin and Turmeric) and can be removed before serving.
RUN   -   (1-3/4 hrs)
  1. In a 5 quart sauté pan or heavy bottomed pot, heat Oil. Stir in Onion mix and fry, stirring over decreasing heat, until the Onions are lightly browned.
  2. Stir in Garlic mix and fry stirring for about 2 minutes over moderate heat.
  3. Stir in Chicken and Spices mix. Fry stirring until Chicken is lightly browned. Make sure the fond adhering to the pan does not get too dark. It should be reddish. If it threatens to go chocolate, go to the next step immediately.
  4. Stir in 3/4 c Yogurt and 2/3 cup water. Scrape up the fond adhering to the pan. Cover tightly and simmer slowly, stirring now and then, until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Check liquid, the onions will absorb a lot.
  5. Chop CILANTRO for garnish. Squeeze LEMON JUICE.
  6. Stir in Poppy Seed mix, Garam Masala, Salt and Lemon Juice. Adjust consistency with boiling water as needed (sauce should not stick to the bottom of the pan). It should be more liquid served with rice than with bread. Simmer about 5 minutes.
  7. Serve hot, garnished with Cilantro.
NOTES:
  1. Chicken:   Weight is for skinless boneless meat. I use the very convenient deboned leg and thigh meat which has become available since the Russians aren't buying it up any more. It has much better flavor and texture than the cardboard breast meat sold in North America. The pattern recipe calls for 2 ea 3 pound chickens cut up, or 5-1/2 to 6 pounds of chicken pieces. Skin and fat are removed in either case, they are not used in India. This would yield 3-1/4 pounds of boneless meat. I prefer boneless meat for ease of service, but you may do as you please.
  2. Yogurt:   The pattern recipe calls for homemade, but that isn't practical for most of us. Do use an unflavored natural yogurt (not Greek).
  3. Chili:   The standard Japones produce a dish with almost no noticeable heat. Use de Arbols for more heat, or according to your desire and best judgement. For details see our Chili Page.
  4. Black Cardamom:   These are very different in size and flavor from regular green cardamom pods. They can be found in markets serving a South Asian or Chinese community. For details see our Cardamom page.
  5. Cinnamon:   In India, real Cinnamon is used, not the Cassia Bark called "Cinnamon" in North America. Real cinnamon is available in the spice section of any market serving a Mexican community. Cassia bark can be used if real Cinnamon is not available. For details see our Cinnamon / Cassia page.
  6. Garam Masala   This is an Indian spice mix, variously made. It can be purchased, but is much better ground at home. For a GM suitable for North India recipes see our recipe Garam Masala #1.
  7. Onions:   The pattern recipe called for grating the onions. I have found that onions grated or run in a processor can get very bitter, forcing you to fry them longer than you want to to fry out the bitterness, so I chop them fine with a sharp knife.
  8. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste

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