Methi Chicken/ Creamy Chicken with Dry Fenugreek Leaves.

Smile and always Smile….Smile has a power that we are probably not even aware of. You can literally never go wrong if you wear a smile. I was taught to smile during my training by our trainers. I was not aware of this powerful feature in me till I put it into practice. We were taught the key for smiling meant good business, to be more accurate; smile is one of the easiest ways to build business. Everybody deserves a pleasant greeting no matter how you feel. Be it at home or your business. All this comes when you smile and the people feel good indicating happiness with a friendly attitude. It helps you to be a better communicator. Some people just aren’t prone to smiling because they are self conscious or they simply don’t feel the need to offer smiles. The feeling is so awkward like you going through an old album with non-smiling faces constantly staring at you. Life is rough and tumbles, but it is these little things that make a big difference.

When food is hot and looks appetizing, that is enough to bring smile on everybody’s face in my family. When I cook, I always try to make the meal a pleasant experience for everyone at the table. Preparing food for the family comes naturally and it is there deep inside hiding in a mother or a lady in the family which emerges when required. Entering the kitchen where you are supposed to cook for your family gives me some level of satisfaction. I just cook with all my heart, soul and love that helps me prepare a delicious meal for my family to relish.

Spices are the corner stone of Indian cooking. I try to pay attention to several things in detail so as to make the right choice of spice for my dish. Spices are lifeline of any Indian cuisine and life with spices is alchemy. Talking of Spices, one thing that comes to everybody’s mind is our Indian spice Mix, the Garam masala. It is not just the Indian classic spice mix but it is also the magical ingredient that breaks down food or helps for digestion too. Indian food is not only about garam masala and curries but if you venture into the colourful and spicy world of Indian food it has fabulous herbs as well as vegetables that carry secrets and stories of medicinal properties.

Fenugreek is one such herb that is an annual plant. We use its dried seeds, twigs and leaves as a spice flavouring agent. It also contains many essential nutrients and these help make it a strong antioxidant. Methi chicken was one dish that slowly without a doubt won everybody’s heart in my family. It was during a casual weekend meal with one of our friends that they suggested to try the Methi chicken of that place where we were dining in. Till then my husband hated anything leafy going inside a non vegetarian dish. The Methi chicken to his surprise was creamy, beautiful and tasty chicken gravy. Then it was his quest to prompt me to making the same curry. I was very happy about bringing in leafy vegetables to my kitchen. My all time favourite is palak paneer with simple phulka rotis.I can ditch any non vegetarian food for these leafy vegetables. I already had the recipe of Methi chicken with me and it turned out the right time to put the recipe onto our list.

Since fenugreek or the Methi is an annual plant, it is available only during winter. But these leaves are dried up and stocked in some Indian homes to use throughout the year to flavour curries, dals and rice dishes. These dried fenugreek leaves stay good for a longer time when stored properly in sealed or air tight containers. One can dry the leaves at home or can opt for a store bought fenugreek leaves available in packets called Kasuri Methi. So this gives us an option to make Methi chicken even when it’s not winter. It is stunningly tasty, super easy and a perfect dish to keep you warm. This curry perfectly goes well with rice, roti or any Indian bread.

Ingredients:-

  1. Chicken with bone- 500gms
  2. Yoghurt- 115 gms
  3. Ghee- 2 tablespoons
  4. Oil- as required.
  5. Whole garam masala- few (mix of cassia bark, cardamom, cloves, pepper corns and mace)
  6. Onion chopped- 2 medium sized
  7. Ginger garlic paste- 2 teaspoons
  8. Green Chillies- 2 nos
  9. Turmeric powder- half teaspoon
  10. Coriander powder -2 teaspoons
  11. Red Chilli powder- 1 teaspoon
  12. Tomatoes chopped- 2 nos
  13. Kasuri Methi- quarter cup.
  14. Fresh fenugreek leaves (optional- use as available)
  15. Fresh cream – 2 tbsp (optional).

Method:-

  • Clean and wash chicken setting aside to marinate.
  • Whisk yoghurt in a bowl and add salt. Add the yoghurt to the chicken and marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour approximately.
  • Take a Handi or any good heavy cooking vessel. Heat oil and add whole garam masala. When it starts crackling add the chopped onions. Sauté well till golden brown.
  • Add ginger garlic paste, green chillies and continue to sauté.
  • Add turmeric, chilli and coriander powder to the onions and sauté for two more minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and continue to stir till the tomato mixes up well with the onions and starts to leave oil.
  • Add a quarter cup of water to the masala to avoid the masala from over browning.
  • Lower the flame and add the marinated chicken to it. Continue to stir well for two minute.
  • Cover and cook till the oil starts separating. This would take not more than 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Stir and check if the chicken is cooked.( If it is not done add in quarter cup more of water and continue to cook well. You can increase and decrease the amount of water to adjust the gravy thickness.)
  • Finally add in fresh cream and mix well. This is totally optional.
  • Heat ghee in a small pan and the dry Kasuri Methi leaves. Stir till the leaves start sizzling and bubbly.
  • Pour over the prepared chicken to finish and Serve.

Read on Before you start cooking:-

  • The gravy should be cooked on medium to slow flame.
  • Once the oil or fat starts separating it is the indication that your gravy is cooked well.
  • You can double the quantity while preparing the recipe.
  • Always keep the flame low when you are adding the chicken marinated with yoghurt. Keep stirring on low flame. High flame or high heat will curdle the yoghurt, You can also increase the quantity of yoghurt for more gravy,
  • Using cream is totally optional, I have used Amul fresh cream but take care this is just to add little creaminess to the gravy so do not increase the quantity mentioned.
  • If you are using fresh fenugreek leaves. Thoroughly wash and pick them. These leaves have a slight bitter taste so you can add in little salt allowing to rest and then squeeze of the little water coming out of the leaves. This will eliminate the bitter taste from the fresh leaves.
  • Sauté the fresh leaves in ghee and add to the chicken. Then close the lid and simmer for 5 minutes. This simmering step is not required if you are using dry leaves,
  • This recipe only requires whole spices as the flavour of the spices infused in oil is enough for this chicken gravy. I would suggest not using any store bought chicken masala for this chicken.
  • Do not use Kashmiri Red chilli powder as it will change the colour of this chicken gravy. Use regular red chili powder.
  • The use of Mace is an important flavour for this chicken. You can lightly crush the spices before adding if you like a more zingy spice flavour.

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