Sunday, March 19, 2006

Chicken Khorma

This is one of many meals that are served in the Muslim world on Eid, the festive holiday that breaks the year's 30-day Ramadan fast; a time when the faithful abstain from food, drink, and ALL other worldly pleasures. Food never tastes better than when you're hungry, and this particular dish is no exception. It is deliciously flavorful, easy to make, and very tasty.

1 whole chicken, cut up in small pieces, skinned (2 1/2 pounds) (*)
1/2 cup fried onions
3/4 cup plain yogurt
2 teaspoons ginger paste (gingerroot peeled, chopped and crushed)
2 teaspoons garlic paste (garlic cloves peeled, chopped and crushed)
5 cloves
4 cardamom seeds
1 1/2 sticks cinnamon
2 or 3 bay leaves
1 heaping teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup oil

Heat oil in 12-quart pan; add cloves, cardamom, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Immediately add chicken, ginger and garlic pastes, and cook uncovered on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add coriander powder, cayenne pepper and salt, and cook for another 10 minutes, uncovered. Puree fried onions and yogurt in blender or food processor with 1 cup water. Add to chicken. Cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until chicken is tender.

This recipe is wonderful served over steamed Jasmine rice or egg noodles.

(*) In lieu of a whole cut up chicken, you can use drumettes or halved-boneless thighs. This way, there's no fighting to get individually selected parts, and everyone is a winner. :-) Be sure to remove the skin on whatever cuts of chicken you decide on.