Recipes

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bombay Chicken Masala

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
I was introduced to this dish by my Indian friend Tilak when he would invite me over to eat with his family at their apartment. His wife, Lata, will have something cooking in the kitchen and the first time I was there for dinner, they served Chicken Masala. It was actually a good way to reintroduce me to Indian food which I thought initially was too smelly and spicy but is in fact actually very tasty. I have had Indian food while still in graduate school at Michigan State University when my Indian friends invited me over during one of their parties. What I tasted then was a bit too intense for me that it left a not so pleasant impression of Indian food on me. However, I do love my friend Vasudha's Chai Tea and I think she makes the best Chai Tea in the world.

Tilak's wife is actually a very masterful cook in her own right. She makes everything from scratch too. She even makes her own yogurt. And I have to say, there is not one food in her kitchen that I did not love. It was actually eating in their kitchen that got me hooked on Indian food. It was another friend though, Celeste, who gave me the push to cook Indian food when she gifted me with an Indian cookbook that was easy to follow. Living in Atlanta at that time, the ingredients were so much easier to find so I was in Little India heaven. The more I cooked Indian food, the better I got and what also helped was having friends who liked to try different kinds of food. Anyway, this recipe is slightly different from Lata's version but it is fairly close. The recipe calls for a lot of cilantro and blitzing it into a paste caused my blender to actually breathe its last breath so I'm a bit bummed but still, it was for a good cause.

Bombay Chicken Masala - Adapted*

3 lbs chicken pieces, skinned
2 large onions, diced
5 jalapeno peppers, deseeded and diced
4 tsp ginger, peeled and diced
12 garlic cloves, diced
2 tbsp coriander powder
4 tsp cumin powder
2 large bunch of cilantro, including the stalks
1 cup water
4 tbsp canola oil
4 cups chicken broth
12 oz tomato paste, canned
salt and pepper

1. In a blender, process the water, cilantro, onions, jalapeno, ginger, garlic
    coriander and cumin powder into a paste. You can do this in two batches.

2. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil and fry the cilantro paste
    until aromatic.

3. Add the chicken pieces and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover
    and lower the heat to low and simmer until the chicken is tender. This
    will take about 30-40 minutes. 

4. Add the tomato paste and mix well. Check for flavor and adjust
    accordingly. Simmer for another 5 minutes and serve right away.

*Vijayakar, Sunil: 30 Minute Indian, Laurel Glen Publishing, San Diego:2000.

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