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Anjum Anand's Chicken Naag

If you’re tight on time, replace ginger and garlic with fresh garlic and ginger pastes

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23 NOVEMBER 2009

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

  • 3 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbs. ghee or butter
  • 1 tsp. brown mustard seeds
  • 750g chicken, skinned and jointed (chicken breasts and thighs are ideal)
  • 7 baby potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • Handful of finely chopped coriander leaves and stems
  • 330ml of water

Marinade
  • 7 fat garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3/4” ginger, peeled
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped into 2 cm chunks
  • 3 rounded tbs. full fat Greek yoghurt
  • 1½ tbs. coriander powder
  • 1¼ tsp. garam masala
  • ¼-½ tsp. red chilli powder plus some paprika for colour (optional – add more chilli if you like it a little hotter)
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • Salt to taste

Method


Create a fine paste of the ginger, garlic and tomatoes (ideally use a blender but if you don’t have one then grate the ginger and garlic to create a rough paste and chop the tomatoes).

Stir in the powdered spices, salt and yoghurt. Add in the chicken and potatoes and leave while you carry on with the next step.

Heat the oil and butter/ghee in a medium non-stick saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and cook until you can hear that they've all popped – this shouldn't take any more than a minute.

Add your onions and cook over a moderate flame, stirring often, until the onions are well browned on the edges – around 7-8 minutes.

Add the chicken, potatoes, marinade and cook over a moderate-high heat, tossing until the sauce begins to release oil droplets back into the pan (look at the edges of the pan).

It should take around 8-12 minutes before the sauce completely reduces. If you are not sure, taste it – the sauce should taste delicious and without any raw garlic flavours. If it’s taking a while to cook, add a glug of the water to the pan and reduce further before carrying on.

Once the sauce has reduced pour the remaining water (enough to come half way up the chicken), and bring to the boil. Cover and cook on a low flame until the chicken and potatoes are cooked – around 12-18 minutes (depending on the size of the joints and potatoes). There should be enough of the sauce for a creamy gravy, if not just add a little drop more from the kettle.

Finally, stir in the chopped coriander and serve with some lovely pure Basmati rice.

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