Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chicken stew mughlai style



We North Indians are obsessed with creamy gravies and making them low fat is a challenge . Many people like a good fat layer on top of the dish as it definitely makes the spicing more aromatic . All the aromatic oils of the spices are soluble in cooking fat and the aroma of the finished dish depends a lot on how the spices are cooked and seeped into the cooking medium . The meats also take up the flavors well when cooked with some fat .

At the same time , cooking with lesser amounts of fat is not such a big deal . Using just enough fat to let the spices bloom in the gravy and the meat get evenly cooked and seeped into the spicy notes is the idea . The heat level needs to be kept in control as the meats need more time to cooked in a low fat medium , without getting stuck to the base of the pan...Slow cooking with some liquid drowning the meat is a great idea , best suited for low fat cooking, especially meats.

The mughlai stew is called 'Ishtoo' and this is not a revelation for anybody who likes it.. whenever you want a nutty creamy gravy with an intense chicken flavor you can have this ishtoo . This ishtoo i made with the remaining boney pieces of the chicken after making a grilled tikka . The boney pieces have more intense flavor and they come out well if cooked for a soup or for a stew...


This chicken stew is an exact replica of a mutton stew i recreated after having it at a famous purani dilli (old city of Delhi) eatery , with boney pieces of chicken this was the best thing to have with some fresh whole wheat chapatis ..

ingredients...
(for 2 servings)
chicken pieces on bone 250 -300 gm
 red chilly powder 1tsp or a bit more
cumin seeds 1 tsp
whole coriander seeds 1 tsp
fennel seeds 1 tsp
whole peppercorns 15 nos.
green cardamom seeds and skin separated 2 nos.
black cardamom a few seeds only ( about 1/4 of a whole pod)
a small cinnamon stick
half a star anise ( optional, i am just obsessed by it)
cloves 4 nos.
a small sliver of mace
salt to taste
ghee 1 tsp
fresh cream 1 tbsp ( i used home made malai)
 to be minced in the food processor or mixie..
2 big onions (1.5 cup minced)
an inch piece of ginger chopped
7-8 small cloves of Indian garlic
to be made into a fine paste
1.5 tbsp of melon seeds ( magaz in urdu and kharbuze ka beej in hindi)
100 gm of thick curds

procedure...

There are a lot of ingredients but the cooking is really simple.

Place everything into a pan except the paste of melon seeds and curds. Add a cup of water and cook the chicken on low flame till cooked.It takes about 25-35 minutes according to the size of the chicken pieces.

Add the white paste made with melon seeds and curds , mix well and let it come to a soft boil. Cover the pan and take off heat. Let the pan stand for 5 minutes before serving.


There will be some oil floating on top , but not overwhelming . The whole recipe is quite low on fats and equally tasty ..

You might like to discard some of the whole spices as they are not a welcome bite...I like the whole coriander seeds and some whole peppercorns coming under my teeth once in a while...this one is a rustic dish where you pick out the whole spices if you don't like them and use your hands to eat it...

With hot chapatis , roomali rotis or fluffy naan , this stew needs some bread ....to be mopped clean.

The aromas will linger for a longer time...a milder version is called chiken safeda in my household .

Which one would you like?

14 comments:

  1. Dear sangeeta
    That is some recipe indeed. You will make me eat chicken I am sure. Cant wait to make this one,,,. May be I will try later with mutton,,,,,but as you know, I first try the recipe as it is without any modification ..
    I can get the taste by reading only forget about the feeling when I eat..
    have a nice day.
    PS... I dont think Mughals ate chicken or stew of any kind ....forget who cares about the Mughals.. we must eat this dish....

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  2. Dear sangeeta
    I dont have melon seeds, but I have de-husked Pumpkin seeds, can I use that? ..the chicken pieces are crying in kitchen to be cooked by a great cook , thats me of course ha ha ( Great cook , thats what the chicken pieces think , not my wife :-(

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  3. Dear Ushnish ..thanks for a quick comment first of all. I guess you were going to make some nice chicken dish :)

    The mutton recipe is there on the Banaras blog , link i have given here too. It is really very aromatic and rich dish without much additional fat.

    Regarding Mughals not eating stewed meats , i think the old toothless nawabs were treated with the galauti kabab and the stews all the time :)

    Do not use pumpkin seeds for this dish , i think the flavors will become entirely different. Use poppy seeds and a little cashew to make the white paste instead.

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  4. yummy yummy yummy yummy yummy .. I have taken a few printouts of recipeeees :)

    Bikram's

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  5. Let me know how did you like it Bikram...

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  6. this looks great will make it for hubby love how healthy all your recipes are
    Rebecca

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  7. In kerala, we have a similar preparation with the same name; the only difference being we use coconut milk instead of the cream/milk. This looks interesting...

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  8. @ Nitha... the kerala version is very different from this . The spicing includes curry patta and other things n coconut milk gives that stew a very different taste . I have posted that earlier on my other blog.
    This one is completely different.

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  9. Hi Sangeeta, How r u?? I am here after a long time..
    Very creamy and tempting chicken stew!liked ur version..Looks ready for my appam:D

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  10. @ Kothiavunu ..i am good thank you.
    I have never tried this stew with appams and i think it is better off with roti or naan.

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  11. This looks like such a comforting meal. Amazing good.

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  12. I had amazing chicken stew at old Delhi yesterday and was searching for a recipe. This one seems quite close, can we make dis without melon seeds?

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    Replies
    1. You can substitute the melon seeds paste with half poppy seeds and half cashew paste Neha. Please let me know when you try :-)

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  13. I had amazing chicken stew at a famous place at purani Dilli, and have been searching for a recipe. This one seems quite close, but can we make dis without melon seeds

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