CHICKEN JALFREZI

Since I got married I have been learning my husband’s mother tongue of Bengali. I grew up speaking Hindi (and “Hinglish”); although both languages stem from the ancient language of Sanskrit, they are very different. My high school French teacher once told me I had a natural “flair for languages” but as an adult, it’s safe to say I have lost said flair!

It’s okay though. I have accepted that mastering the language is more of a long-term goal. I can say “I’m hungry” and “What’s for dinner?” – so important key phrases are in the bank. In the short-term, learning how to recreate my mother in law’s amazing Bengali dishes are more of a pressing matter (er priorities…hello?). 

Today’s recipe is not from her cookbook, but rather one that Jan, one of my cookery class students, asked me how to teach her. It’s a curry house fav in the UK and I found it fun to recreate at home. A dry, spicy chicken dish cooked with peppers and onions – it has crunch, colour and flavour all packed into one! Fun fact – the “jal” comes from the Bengali word “jhal” which means spicy (see I am learning!). Enjoy the recipe below lovely people.

 

Chicken Jalfrezi
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
For the chicken marinade
  1. 500g skinned chicken thighs, cut into small bite-size pieces
  2. 2 heaped tbsp yoghurt
  3. 1 tbsp oil
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 1 tsp garam masala
  6. ½ tsp kasuri methi/dried fenugreek (optional)
For the sauce
  1. 3 tbsp ghee or oil
  2. 2 green cardamoms crushed open (optional)
  3. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  4. 1 onion, thinly sliced
  5. 1 1/4tsp salt
  6. 3 garlic cloves peeled and grated
  7. 2” ginger, grated
  8. 2 green bird eye chillies, finely chopped
  9. 3 fresh tomatoes, finely diced
  10. 1 tbsp double concentrate tomato purée
  11. ½ tsp garam masala
  12. ½ tsp coriander powder
  13. ½ tsp paprika
  14. ½ tsp turmeric
  15. 1 green pepper, thinly sliced
  16. ½ red pepper thinly sliced
  17. Handful fresh coriander
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat your grill at the maximum temperature setting. Place all "marinade" ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Now, place the marinated chicken on a foil lined oven tray.
  2. Grill chicken for 10-12 minutes until cooked (the chicken should be white all the way through once fully cooked).
  3. Remove from grill and keep aside.
  4. Heat the ghee or oil in pan on a medium heat setting. Once hot add the crushed green cardamoms and cumin seeds. When they begin to sizzle in the oil, add the onion along with ¾ tsp salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
  5. Now add the garlic, ginger and chilli and mix. Continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes and purée to the pan and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes allowing them to completely soften.
  7. Reduce heat slightly and add the garam masala, coriander powder, paprika, turmeric and the remaining salt and mix well. When you see the oil begin to separate from the masala paste, add the grilled chicken and the sliced peppers.
  8. Mix well on a medium/high heat and cook for 3-4 minutes. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh coriander. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly. Remove from heat.
Monica's Spice Diary - Indian Food Blog http://spicediary.com/

Punjabi Chicken & Spinach Curry

curry

As the weather begins to cool, try out this hearty and spicy Punjabi chicken and spinach curry recipe. Disclaimer: Aromas from cooking this dish may result in random hungry neighbours knocking at your door (answer at your own risk).

Punjabi Chicken & Spinach Curry
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
For the marinade
  1. 275g chicken breast, cut into 2” chunks
  2. 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  3. 1” ginger, grated
  4. 1/2 clove ginger, grated
  5. ½ tsp salt
For the masala
  1. 1 small white onion, peeled
  2. 2” ginger
  3. 1 clove garlic
  4. 3 tbsp olive oil
  5. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  6. 3” cinnamon stick
  7. 2 cloves
  8. 3 peppercorns
  9. 1 bay leaf
  10. 1 black cardamom
  11. 1 tsp salt
  12. 1 tsp garam masala
  13. ½ tsp paprika
  14. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  15. 2 tbsp chopped tomatoes & juice
  16. 2 tsp tomato puree
  17. ¼ cup fresh spinach leaves
  18. 1 green chilli
Instructions
  1. Turn your grill on or pre-heat your oven on the highest temperature
  2. Place all "marinade" ingredients into a bowl and mix together
  3. Place the marinated chicken on a foil lined oven tray. Grill or roast for 5-6 minutes until cooked (the chicken should be white all the way through once fully cooked)
  4. Remove from heat and cover with foil
  5. To make the masala, coarsely grind onions, ginger and garlic in a food processer
  6. Heat oil in a non stick pan. Once hot add the cumin alongside the cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaf and black cardamom
  7. When they begin to sizzle in the oil, add the ground onion, ginger and garlic mixture. Add salt and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously
  8. When they turn slightly golden, add the garam masala, paprika and turmeric powder and mix well. Now add the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree and mash into the masala.
  9. At this point, add the grilled chicken to the masala and mix together
  10. Using a food processor, grind together the spinach and green chilli. Now add this paste to the chicken masala.
  11. Add 1/4 cup of water and cook on high heat for 4-5 minutes
  12. Serve hot with delicious chapatis. Enjoy!
Monica's Spice Diary - Indian Food Blog http://spicediary.com/

Keema Aloo Mattar Masala (Spicy Minced Lamb, Potato & Peas)

keema mattar

When I got home from work on Sunday night (that’s right I work on Sundays booo), I was starving. And of course when you’re particularly hungry you never have anything in the fridge. Well, technically I did, but the only thing I was really in the mood for making was…a reservation so I didn’t even bother to look. As my id and super-ego battled out my dinner options, it suddenly dawned on me that I had bought home some fresh lamb mince the day before. I was then overcome with a massive craving for Keema Aloo Matter Masala (a classic Punjabi spicy minced lamb, potato & peas dish). It’s an amazingly simple yet flavourful dish and tastes so good with accompanying fresh chapatis or bread to soak up all the deliciousness. If there any vegetarians reading, this recipe is great as the lamb can be replaced with minced soya. Never wanting to leave anyone out-how sweet am I? 🙂

Enjoy the recipe and please do comment or tweet me your thoughts!

Serves 4-6

What we need:

4-5tbsp Olive oil
1kg minced lamb
4 medium sized potatoes, boiled and quartered
1 cup peas
3 bay leaves
1/4 cinnamon stick
2 black cardamoms (optional)
5-6 whole black peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 onions, finely chopped
2 green chillis, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, grated
3″ fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tin plum tomatoes
2-3 tsp salt or according to taste
1.5 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp paprika powder
Handful fresh coriander

How we do:
– Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wide open pan. Once hot add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamoms, peppercorns and cumin seeds. When they begin to splatter, add the mince and mix well. -Add 1 tsp of salt and cook for 4-6 minutes stirring continuously. Place a lid on the pan and let it cook for a further 5-10 minutes and mix every couple of minutes. As the mince begins to cook it will change colour and will begin to darken. Once any excess moisture has been fully absorbed and the mince is fully cooked, turn off the heat.
-In a separate pan, heat 2-3 tbsp of olive oil. Once hot, add the onions, green chillis and 1 tsp salt. Cook the onions until they become semi golden/translucent. At this point add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
-Now add the garam masala, turmeric powder and paprika and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes at this point and mash well into the masala. When the oil begins to separate add the fresh coriander and add the mince with it and add 2 cups of water. Add the potatoes and peas at this point.
-Place a lid and bring it to a boil. Reduce to simmer and let it cook for a good 10-15 minutes stirring every few minutes.
-Check for salt and adjust accordingly to your taste.
-You are officially done! Serve with hot chapatis.