Happy New Year everyone! Hope all of you had a wonderful holiday. I am glad to have put last year behind me and am looking forward to 2010 from a health point of view after the issues I went through last year.
We had a get together for the kids on Christmas day and a potluck dinner to go along with it. I made a quick chicken masala based on a recipe that was passed on to me from a friend of mine years ago. I have maintained the recipe for the most part while making fine adjustments here and there over time. It is a very simple affair and is sure to be a popular hit among your guests.
The recipe calls for a whole chicken including the bones, but without the skin. The natural juices of the chicken just give a fantastic flavor to this dish. I opted instead for chicken breasts only, losing a little bit of the flavor but staying on the healthier side of things. Let's get to the recipe then.
6 large chicken breasts (or 1 whole chicken cut up without skin)
4 tbsp oil
3 medium onions diced into 1/2 inch pieces
5 cloves garlic finely grated
1 inch piece of ginger finely grated
3 large tomatoes diced
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 1/2 tbsp red chili powder
1 1/2 tbsp chicken moghal powder or meat masala powder
one large bunch fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
juice from 1/2 a large lemon
Cut the chicken pieces into cubes and set aside, along with its juices. In a large heavy bottomed skillet, add the oil and as the oil is getting hot add the onions. Cook the onions on medium heat until they turn golden to dark brown, making sure you don't burn the onions.
At this point, add the grated ginger and garlic, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and the chicken moghal spice powder. If you can't find this specific powder you can use any meat masala powder, since the spice ingredients in most of the brands that make meat masala are common anyway (good brands are Everest or Badshah procured from any Indian grocery store). Stir well to mix the spices and the onions for a few minutes.
Now add the tomatoes and stir well. Cook on medium to low flame until the oil slowly starts separating from the vegetables. The chicken is added at this stage along with its juices, and then cooked on low flame until well done. You can add few tablespoons of water now and then to make sure the dish does not dry out while cooking.
After the chicken is done, turn off the fire and add the lemon juice. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or chapati. The dish in this form is dry and is great as an appetizer with alcoholic drinks. You can also add some water and heat it up and then eat it as a gravy with rice. Enjoy!
Health Rating: High
Note: If the chicken masala is too spicy for your taste, you can go easy on the red chili powder and meat masala powder by reducing them by 1/2 a tbsp each.