I have been wondering lately – does New England weather always suck, or am I special? It’s been grey, drizzly, and with the yellow mucky pollen wash of the last two weeks still lurking in those unreachable nook and cranny, it’s been a little challenging to keep looking at the brighter side of life.
We finally got the pool covers taken off for the summer. At least it lifted the spirits of my 9 year old, who has been planning his pool birthday party since March. So could we have the party tomorrow? No. We need to send the invites first, and also maybe wait for summer to behave like summer again? You know – the hot, sunny, glary bright kind?
Obviously, dumpy spirits are not great for churning out great recipes. As I have mentioned before, I have picky eaters who have problems with each and every ingredient on this planet. One doesn’t like fish or chicken but won’t eat vegan either, other dislikes all forms of protein AND vegies, yet another grumbles about the kind of gravy cooked or lack of it. Heck, even my GSD is a picky eater. It’s a constant war for me to find the right balance. I could open dozens of cook books and copy recipes one after the other, and then end up finishing most of it myself, sharing the rest with the trash can. As I said, even my dogs discriminate when it comes to eating. Scratch that. My Rottie is a sweetheart in this regard. Too bad I can’t feed her half the things that I cook.
Hence I am on a constant quest to figure out recipes that will go down without a war at the dining table. But there is an upside to it as well. When a recipe does pass muster, it often turns out to be truly delicious. Kasuri Methi Murg is a recipe that I developed during one of those quests. It has been a hot favorite at my picky eating dining table, and has wowed the guests as well. I also have a tendency to churn out quick dishes, and this is one of them. It does not need any fancy cooking. Basically you fry the chicken on high heat with all the ingredients, and then add the herb at the end. “Murg” by the way is Hindi word for chicken.
If you frequent Indian restaurants, chances are, the chicken tikka masala or the paneer butter masala that you ate was flavored with kasuri methi. Kasuri methi is dried fenugreek leaves, an herb that has long been considered to have high medicinal qualities both in Indian and Chinese medicine. It comes in dried leaf form, and has somewhat of a bitter taste by itself. But when you add this herb to any dish, the flavor is a rich tart taste that balances out over sweet flavors like sweet tomatoes or onions. The trick is to add the right quantity.You can buy this herb at any local Indian grocery store. Or, you can also order it online from Amazon. One packet of Kasuri methi lasts a long time. I have stored kasuri methi longer than two years in airtight containers.
- 750 g boneless chicken pieces
- 2 cups sliced onions
- 3 ripe tomatoes
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper/red chili powder
- 2” cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp. black pepper whole
- 3 Thai Chilies
- 1 tsp. garlic paste
- 1 tsp. ginger paste
- 1-1/2 tsp. fenugreek leaves
- 2 tbs. oil (I use Extra virgin olive oil)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- Heat Oil
- Fry onions till glazed
- Add chicken. Fry till starts losing its white look and acquires a golden brown crust. Keep stirring constantly
- While the chicken is frying, add chili powder.
- Once chicken looks nicely browned, add tomatoes (I slice tomatoes right over the pot while adding them simultaneously)
- Fry till soft.
- Add cinnamon and pepper.
- Now add garlic. Fry till cooked.
- Add ginger and chilies ( at this point, chilies will just infuse flavor, not heat.For more heat, add a couple early on, when you fry onions).
- Using your fingers, grind the fenugreek leaves and sprinkle all over the chicken.
- Cook for 1 minute and take it off the heat.
- Sprinkle lemon juice