Murgh Makhan (Silken Chicken)
By Balraj Khanna
The Mughals, who ruled India for almost three hundred years, loved eating and entertaining, and rich, creamy dishes such as this formed an essential part of their lavish lifestyle. Serve this very special dish as part of a large meal.
Total butter: 1 stick
CUT one 3-lb chicken, skin removed, into 10 pieces.
COMBINE and process for 15 seconds: 4 garlic cloves, halved 1 medium fresh hot green chili, seeded, one 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
ADD and process 15 seconds: 2 cups finely chopped onions
ADD and process 15 seconds: 8 cardamom pods, cracked 9 cloves
HEAT in large saucepan/ skillet: 3 Tablespoons butter (heat until foam is going down)
BROWN on medium heat: 1/2 the chicken pieces (lightly browned on all sides) Transfer to plate, repeat with 3 more tablespoons butter and remaining chicken.
ADD TO PAN and cook, stirring constantly: The rest the butter The garlic/onion/spice mixture Cook it for 10 minutes or until liquid has evaporated.
ADD and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly: 2 teaspoons cumin seeds 1 teaspoon chili powder (unspiced ground chili peppers) One 1 1/2 inch piece cinnamon stick
ADD and cook, stirring often, 10 minutes: One 16 ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped, with juice 1/2 teaspoon salt (sounds silly, with that in butter and tomatoes)
ADD: The chicken and its juices
REDUCE HEAT to low, cook covered 30 minutes, until chicken is tender and sauce is thickened. GARNISH WITH: 1/4 cup fresh coriander (for 6)