The name of this dish is ‘Afghani Chicken’ but this recipe comes to you from a very authentic Parsee recipe book. Maybe some Parsee ancestors decided to settle in that part of the world for a while, when we were forced to flee Persia during the persecution and happened to pick up this gem from that region. Then again, maybe it was just a weird Bawa feeling the urge to name it so. These are the only (in)sane reasons that comes to mind for a Parsee naming the dish so. Well, food knows no religion or language. What matters is how it tastes, so regardless of whether it is India, Persia/Iran or Afghanistan, I vouch that this one tastes awesome. Enjoy!
1 kilo chicken
4 onions, sliced
4” piece ginger
1 whole pod garlic
½ teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi powder
1 bunch coriander leaves
2 green chilies, slit
¼ kilo curds, beaten smooth
A few strands saffron
2 potatoes, peeled, quartered and fried
125 grams ghee/clarified butter
2 hard boiled eggs, quartered
Salt, to taste
Grind to paste:
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
7 white cardamoms
2 green cardamoms
1 tablespoon cumin
30 grams dry coconut
½ tablespoon charoli/chironji
4 dry red Kashmiri chilies
- Clean and wash the chicken and cut into the required number of pieces.
- Grind the ginger-garlic together to a paste.
- Fry onions in ghee until golden brown and keep some aside for garnishing.
- Add ginger-garlic paste to the onions in the ghee and fry well for a minute.
- Add turmeric powder, green chilies and fry well for a few seconds.
- Add the ground paste and fry well till ghee separates. Add coriander leaves and fry for a few more seconds.
- Add chicken pieces, salt and mix well. Add water and cook till chicken is nearly done. Blend in curds.
- Mix saffron with a little warm water and let it steep for a while, then add to the chicken.
- Simmer the gravy till thickened to desired consistency.
- Garnished with fried potatoes, hard boiled eggs and fried onions. Serve with parathas or tandoori naans.
- If you reside in a country where they have strict restrictions in regard to the use of poppy seeds, feel free to substitute them with cashew nuts.
- The potatoes were to be quartered and fried but I prefer them as chips or wedges hence opted to cut them as accordingly.
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