March 27, 2011

Lagan ka Murgh (Slow Cooked Creamy Chicken)

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Comfort food can mean so many different things to so many different people. Personally for me, comfort food is are those dishes that remind me of my mothers cooking. And not just the taste of her food, but everything that went along with it: the warmth of the stove-top light against the rising steam of whatever was bubbling away on the stove, the sounds of the metal pots and pans, and the smells, oh those smells. The freshly ground spices, toasted aromatics and swirling fragrances seemed to fill every corner of the house and even though I use all the same spices in my own cooking, they just don't seem to smell the same when she's not here.


But every now and then when I'm cooking, and the stove-light is on and metal lids are clinking and clanging away, I get a whiff of those old-time memories and it makes me so happy. This dish did that for me. I don't know if it was the traditional slow-cooked method of the chicken or if I was just really missing her at that moment, either way, this was my comfort food.


All the heavy memory-lane references aside, this is actually a very easy 'beginner-Indian-cooking' meal as the main technique is slow-cooking over a low flame. I'm blessed to have my mother visit often, alhamdulillah but for those in-between times when I'm really craving her food, at least I know I can turn to some of my own comfort food.This recipe comes from my dear friend at Zaiqa who's recipes almost always makes my mouth water, masha'allah. Make sure you take a look over there for lots more delicious recipes!



Lagan Ka Murgh (Slow-cooked Creamy Chicken curry in Aromatic Spice)
White Poppy Seeds1 tbsp (I used the black ones I had on hand)
Cashews – 1/8 cup (confession, I didn't do this and it was still delicious!)
Warm milk – 3/4 cup
Chicken – 8 chicken leg pieces ( boneless chicken cut into bite size pieces)
Thick Yogurt – 1/2 cup
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Canola oil – 4 tbsp
Onions – 3, medium sized, finely sliced
Cloves – 4
Green cardamoms – 4
Dried Bay leaf – 1
Tomato – 1, large, pureed
Garam masala powder – 3/4 tsp
Cilantro – 2 tbsp, finely chopped

Method:
1. In a small cup, add poppy seeds and cashews. Pour in warm milk and let soak for 20-25 minutes. Later puree it into a smooth paste.(I didn't do this step but wish I had, and plan on doing it next time insha'allah. That being said, the dish was still delicious)

2. Marinate the chicken with yogurt, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, salt and red chilli powder. Mix well and keep aside for 30-40 minutes.

3. In a lagan or any thick bottomed vessel at medium high heat, pour oil and as soon as it is hot, add the sliced onions, two pinches of salt and fry while stirring constantly until they are golden brown in color. Add cloves, cardamoms and bay leaf. Add the marinated chicken along with the marinade and mix well. Add the prepared cashewnuts+poppy seeds+milk puree, and the tomato puree and mix well. Simmer, cover and let it cook slowly for 30-40 minutes. Keep stirring it every once in a while. You will see the oil will start to leave and the gravy will get thicker. Once done, sprinkle garam masala powder and chopped cilantro. Mix well and serve immediately.

17 comments:

  1. AsSalaam Alaikum, I absolutely love your blog. It definitely gives me ideas when I need it and this recipe is perfect. I love Indian food and enjoy making it-all the spices!! THis is one I definitely have to try.

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  2. Walaikum Salaam, jazakillah khair! So happy to be able to help you out; I often brown thru the archives when I'm stumped for dinner ideas too! Let me know how this turns out for you insha'allah.

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  3. Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullah. Masha Allah, it does look like, Mommy-cooked Chicken...Perfect!

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  4. Oohh mashalah!!!! The look of it reminds me of my favorite butter chicken. I must try this, but I'm sure I'll lay off some of the chili powder Hehe.

    Thanks for making my mouth water 10 mins after eating dinner. Only u can do that!

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  5. Oh yeah forgot to ask, what's a lagan? I could probably google it, but to lazy craving ur dish

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  7. I don't have poppy seeds. Can i make the dish without it?

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  8. Walaikum Salaam Familycook...thats the exact reason I love it so much! :)

    EmMalik: Butter chicken actually has a lot of cream, butter and tomato paste so this dish tastes very different from that, but I can see how it looks similar. Definitely give it a try! And so sorry I totally forgot to explain a lagan: its a traditional Indian heavy-bottomed pot that is used to slow cook everything from meat to rice. I don't have one :( Any thick-bottomed pot will do though.

    Rabiya, if you see my notes, I actually skipped that whole step too and it was still very good.

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  9. Mashallah, that looks so good!!

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  10. You have stunning recipes in here to add to that is your lovely presentations on each of them. I loved this Gobi Manchurian picture and the recipe is a tiny different from what I have or make.

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  11. I just tried this recipe a few days ago and it was delicious. MashaAllah, it was really simple.

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  13. Several years ago my wife took me to an Indian restaurant in St. Louis called the India Palace and I fell in love with all the flavors and smells of the wonderful cuisine immediately. It led me down the road of trying to recreate these dishes at home which unfortunately always led to failure if not all out disaster. Yesterday I came across your blog and saw the picture of your chicken curry and made it for dinner last night for my wife and mother in law. I CANNOT believe how fun it was to make and how absolutely perfect it turned out! So full of flavor, I felt like I was being spoiled at a fancy restaurant! I also tried your samosa recipe and will never use a spring roll wrap again. Thank you so much. I look forward to trying more of your dishes.

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  14. James, I'm absolutely thrilled to hear how well this recipe turned out for you! The fragrance and flavors of this dish are truly unique, and if I say so myself, quite addictive! But I'm even more delighted to hear of your samosa success; there's absolutely no room for spring rolls in Indian cooking :) Looking forward to hearing more of your feedback.

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Tell me what you think! As always, feedback and reviews are appreciated...happy cooking!