Showing posts with label curd. Show all posts
Showing posts with label curd. Show all posts

Nov 4, 2016

Kashmiri Style Chicken Curry

Kashmiri Style Chicken Curry recipe curry indian authentic kashmir

From the beautiful vale of Kashmir comes this recipe for a brilliant red chicken curry. The warmth of traditional aromatic spices and crimson Kashmiri chilis are melded in a velvety yogurt based sauce. Crisply seared chicken is then simmered until meltingly tender in this richly aromatic sauce. The Kashmiris enjoy this dish garnished with dried mint or perhaps sultanas and cashews stirred in on special occasions.

Kashmiri Style Chicken Curry recipe curry indian authentic kashmir

This is our everyday chicken curry recipe. No, it not sweet, nor does it have any sugar in it, or coconut, or pineapple, or dried apricots like most of the abominations called Kashmiri chicken you'll find in restaurants. As is the traditional Kashmiri manner the chicken is first browned in salted oil and set aside. Browning the chicken in salted oil gives it a bit of a crispy salt crust as well as leaving delicious drippings for making the sauce. The sauce is quite soupy as it is served with rice like most Kashmiri dishes. The flavor is more aromatic than spicy hot with a bit of a tang from the yogurt. If you want to make it really fancy you can toss a handful of cashews or sultanas in about ten minutes before serving.

1kg/2lbs chicken, skinless and cut into 8 pieces with bone in
3 TBS cooking oil or ghee
2 onions, sliced thinly into half moons
1 TBS garlic/lahsun paste
1 TBS ginger/adrak paste
7 green cardamoms/elaichi, bruised with mortar and pestle
5 cloves/laung
2 inch piece of cassia bark/dalchini (or cinnamon stick)
10 black peppercorns/kali mirch, coarsely ground
1 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
2 tomatoes, diced finely or pureed
2 C water or stock
2 TBS sultanas (optional)
2 TBS cashews (optional)
1 TBS dried mint/pudina (optional for garnish)
Mix until smooth for sauce-
1 C yogurt/dahi
1/2 tsp flour/maida (this will keep the yogurt from splitting)
1 TBS Kashmiri mirch (or 1&1/2 tsp paprika plus 1&1/2 tsp cayenne powder)
2 tsp ground fennel/saunf
2 tsp ground coriander/dhania
1 tsp dry ginger/soonth
1/4 tsp turmeric/haldi

Here's what to do:
1) Heat cooking oil or ghee with 1 teaspoonful salt in kadhai or deep heavy bottomed skillet for 7 minutes. While oil is heating mix yogurt together with spices and flour as listed for gravy until smooth and set aside. Fry chicken pieces in hot oil or ghee for about 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Set fried chicken pieces aside on a plate.

2) In same pan fry sliced onions until beginning to brown. Add garlic paste, ginger paste, green cardamoms, cloves, cassia bark, black peppercorns, and cumin seeds. Fry for about 2 minutes or until raw smell is gone from garlic.

3) Add finely diced tomatoes and fry for about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add yogurt mixed with flour and spices to fried tomato and onion mixture. Stir well and return pan to heat. Bring mixture to a simmer. Allow mixture to simmer for 5 minutes. If mixture begins to scorch or stick reduce heat, add 1/4 cup water and stir well.

4) After 5 minutes return the fried chicken pieces to the pan with the onion and spice mixture. Stir well. Add 2 cups water or stock to the spice and chicken mixture and bring to a simmer. Cover pan and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken pieces are cooked through and oil separates from the sauce. (If using sultanas or cashews stir them in after the chicken has simmered for about ten minutes.) Salt to taste and garnish with dried mint if desired.

Helpful Hints:
I do find that sometimes chicken can get a bit dry when cooked this way. To prevent that I usually soak the skinless chicken in a brine solution of 3 tablespoons salt to one liter/four cups water for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight in the refrigerator. Before frying rinse the chicken pieces well  and dispose of the brine solution. This really makes for tender, juicy chicken!

An illustration of market boats on Nallah Mar canal in Srinagar from Francis Younghusband's 1917 book Kashmir.

Aug 10, 2016

Kashmiri Haddar Yakhni (Mushrooms in Yogurt Sauce)

Kashmiri Haddar Yakhni Mushrooms in Yogurt Sauce Indian kashmir curry

In Kashmiri haddar means mushrooms and yakhni is a yogurt infused stock. In this dish mushrooms are first simmered with the warmly aromatic spices of Kashmiri cuisine to make a rich broth. Tangy yogurt is then added and the mushrooms are braised until tender in this sumptuously spiced sauce. Savory mint and a sprinkle of black cumin top off this traditional dish from the vale of Kashmir. 

Kashmiri Haddar Yakhni Mushrooms in Yogurt Sauce Indian kashmir curry

Mushrooms are actually quite common in Himalayan cuisines. The vast forests of the Himalayas are home to many different varieties of edible wild mushrooms like morels, oyster mushrooms, and various types of straw mushrooms. Traditionally, Himalayan peoples have dried the various types of mushrooms for later use as well as eaten them fresh in several delicious ways. Commercial mushroom farming has only recently become popular on the Indian Subcontinent making fresh mushrooms widely available and affordable in markets.

Kashmiri Haddar Yakhni Mushrooms in Yogurt Sauce Indian kashmir curry

For this recipe I've used button mushrooms farmed locally here in Nepal by a women's cooperative. I've seen this recipe prepared in Kashmir with different mushrooms gathered in the forest. Morels prepared in this manner are considered a delicacy and usually only prepared at Wazwan wedding feasts. Whatever mushroom you choose will work in this tasty recipe.

1/2kg/1lb mushrooms, caps sliced into quarters
1 TBS cooking oil
2 TBS ghee or butter
5 black peppercorns/kali mirch
2 tsp ground coriander
1 inch piece of cassia bark or cinnamon stick
2 black cardamom/kali elaichi, bruised in mortar and pestle
5 green cardamoms/elaichi, bruised in mortar and pestle
3 cloves/laung
1/2 tsp shahi jeera/black cumin
2 tsp dried mint/pudina
Grind to smooth paste for sauce:
1/2 C yogurt/dahi
1/2 tsp flour/maida or cornstarch/corn flour (this will keep your yogurt from splitting)
1/2 tsp dry ginger/soonth
1/2 tsp ground fennel/saunf
1/4 C diced onion
1 tsp garlic

Here's what to do:
1) Cut cleaned mushroom caps into quarters. Try to get the mushroom pieces about the same size. Set aside.
Kashmiri Haddar Yakhni Mushrooms in Yogurt Sauce Indian kashmir curry
See how larger mushrooms are quartered but smaller mushrooms are left whole.
Try to make sure the mushroom pieces are all about the same size.
2) Grind all ingredients listed for sauce until smooth, set aside.

3) In large heavy bottomed skillet, kadhai, or pressure cooker - heat oil, butter or ghee and one teaspoon salt. Fry peppercorns, coriander, cassia bark, cloves, black cardamoms, and green cardamoms for 2 minutes.

My spices are foaming because I used butter, ghee will not foam like this.
4) Add mushrooms to the oils and spices. Fry for 5 minutes stirring often. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. A lot of liquid will come out of the mushrooms.

5) Add yogurt mixture from step 2 to the cooled mushrooms and spices. Stir well and return to heat.

5) If using pressure cooker seal lid and steam for two whistles. If using skillet or kadhai simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and oil has separated from the sauce. 

Kashmiri Haddar Yakhni Mushrooms in Yogurt Sauce Indian kashmir curry

6) Remove from heat and salt to taste.  Sprinkle shahi jeera and crumble dried mint over dish and serve.

Helpful hints:
Kashmiri curd or yogurt is quite sour and made from cow's milk because Kashmir is too cold for water buffaloes. Be sure to use a full fat and sour yogurt like the Greek style yogurt available in the West to get a similar flavor.

If you don't have shahi jeera/black cumin just leave it out. It adds a slight crunch and herbal note to the final dish that can't be replicated by anything else.
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