Mughlai Chicken

Mughlai Chicken is a favourite restaurant dish across the Indian subcontinent. The chicken preparation is an original from Central Asia and was introduced in India by the Mughal Emperors during their reign. A thick and creamy chicken dish for special occasions! Although preparing the authentic Mughal Chicken is a bit tedious, the outcome is absolutely divine and pleasing to your taste buds. Cream, milk and yogurt lend richness to this gravy and make it thicker. Throwing in spices, such as cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom, and the paste of almonds give you a fragrant, distinct, and flavourful dish. Eat this comforting Mughal Chicken with naan, kulcha, chapatis, or steamed rice and you will surely be licking off your plates and get transported to heaven.

INGREDIENTS

  • Chicken – 900 grams (preferably use chicken with bone cut into medium pieces)

For Chicken Marination

  • Garlic Paste – 3 tablespoons (45 grams)
  • Ginger Paste – 3 tablespoons (45 grams)
  • Coriander paste – 3 tablespoons (45 grams)
  • Garam Masala – 3 tablespoons (45 grams)
  • Green Chilli – 3 tablespoons (crushed)

For the Mughlai Gravy

  • Oil – 9 tablespoons (135 ml)
  • Cinnamon stick (dalchini) – 2 inch
  • Bay leaves (tejpatta) – 3 Nos.
  • Cloves (lavang) – 6 Nos.
  • Cardamom pods (elaichi) – 4 Nos.
  • Onions – 4 Nos. medium sized (finely chopped)
  • Ginger Paste – 2 tablespoons
  • Garlic Paste – 2 tablespoons
  • Coriander Paste – 2 tablespoons
  • Almonds – 30 Nos.
  • Cashews – 15 nos.
  • Cumin Seeds Powder (jeera powder) – 3 tablespoons (45 grams)
  • Red Chilli Powder (laal mirch powder) – 2 tablespoon (30 grams)
  • Coriander Seeds Powder (dhania powder) – 3 tablespoons (45 grams)
  • Black pepper powder (kali mirch powder) – 1/2 tablespoon (7.5 grams)
  • Turmeric Powder (haldi powder) – 1 tablespoon (15 grams)
  • Yogurt (curd) – 120 grams
  • Milk – 200 ml
  • Coriander leaves (dhania patta) – 1/2 cup (chopped)
  • Kasoori methi powder – 1 teaspoon (2.5 grams)
  • Garam Masala – 1/2 tablespoon (7.5 grams)
  • Cream – 1/2 cup (120 ml.)
  • Saffron – 1/2 teaspoon (soaked in 1 Tablespoon hot water)
  • Salt – as per taste

DIRECTIONS

Pre-preparation

  1. Soak almonds in water for 1 hour and then, peel their skin. Soak cashew nuts in hot water, to soften. Grind the peeled almonds and cashew nuts with 4-5 tbsp of milk till you get a smooth paste. You can add more milk if required while grinding.
  2. Thoroughly wash and clean the chicken. Cut into medium-sized pieces. In a bowl, marinate the chicken pieces with garlic paste, ginger paste, coriander paste, garam masala powder, lemon juice and crushed Green Chilli for 30 minutes.
  3. Prepare finely ground powdered mixture of cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cloves and cardamom pods.
  4. Chop onions finely, keep aside.

Preparing the Gravy

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan and on a slow flame fry the marinated chicken pieces till they turn golden brown on all sides. Drain the chicken pieces and keep them aside.
  2. In the same saucepan keep a medium flame and using the oil already present add the ground mixture of cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cloves and cardamom pods. Fry well.
  3. Add the chopped onions and fry them until they turn translucent. Next add the garlic paste, ginger paste and coriander paste. Saute well.
  4. Then, add the prepared almond and cashew nut paste. Fry it till the oil separates.
  5. Add the red chilli powder, cumin seeds powder, coriander seeds powder, black pepper powder, and turmeric powder. Cook on medium heat.
  6. Add the beaten yogurt (curd). Stir briskly till you get a consistent mixture. Follow up by adding milk and let it cook for 4-6 minutes with the lid on. Once it is thick, add some water if required to make the gravy.
  7. Put the deep-fried chicken, kasuri methi and garam masala in it. Cover the pan with a lid, stir occasionally and cook well for about 20 minutes to let the chicken soak the flavours and taste of the spices.
  8. Add saffron water and cream, mix well. Add salt as per taste. Place a lid on the pan and cook for another 10 minutes.
  9. Keep the lid on for 10 minutes after turning off the flame to let everything mix up well inside the pan.
  10. When done and just before serving, take off the cover and garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with naan, kulcha, chapatis, or steamed rice.