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Cardamom Chicken

Friday, 5 November 2010

This is an extremely easy Indian dish. When I say easy, I mean it. Unlike many other Indian recipes that involve ten thousand herbs and spices, this recipe only involves one spice - cardamom. OK, two to be specific - cardamom and black pepper. Either way, it's still an easy dish yet so rich in flavours.

cardamom chicken 1

The main player of this dish is cardamom which has a very strong and unique exotic flavour. It is a very versatile spice and is commonly used in Indian cooking to flavour curries, rice, even teas and sweets. The pods can be used whole or ground but it is recommended to buy the whole pods as cardamom quickly loses flavour once the seeds are exposed or ground. The outer shell of the pods has little flavour and it is the seeds that have intense flavour, so, when a recipe calls for whole cardamom, the pods should be lightly crushed (with seeds still intact) to extract the flavour of the spice. The seeds should be black or dark brown. If the seeds are light brown and dry, discard as they will have no flavour.

cardamom chicken

I tasted the dish after 30 mins of simmering and thought it wasn't spicy enough. So I roughly chopped 4 of the green chillies, and let it continue cooking for another 30 mins.
Adapted from 3 hungry tummies
  • 1.5 kg chicken pieces (or 1 whole chicken chopped into pieces) - you can remove the skin but I left the skin on
For marinade:
  • 25 green cardamom - black seeds removed and pounded into powder
  • 1/2 bulb garlic - peeled and pressed
  • 1-inch ginger - grated
  • 300 ml Greek yoghurt
  • 1.5 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter (or ghee if you have any)
  • 1 can (400 ml) coconut milk
  • 8 green chillies - pricked all over with a fork or knife
  • 1 cup fresh coriander - coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tbs sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Mix together all ingredients for marinade in a mixing bowl.
  • Add chicken and mix. Leave to marinate overnight.
cardamom chicken 4
  • The next day, melt butter in a large pot.
  • Brown chicken pieces in batches.
  • Remove excess oil from the pot and place browned chicken pieces with the remaining marinade and coconut milk into the pot.
  • Bring everything to a boil then add the green chillies and chopped coriander.
  • Lower heat to simmer for about 45 mins to 1 hr or untill chicken is tender.
cardamom chicken 3
  • Season to taste (I added 1/2 tbs of sugar).
  • Stir in the lemon juice before serving.
cardamom chicken 2

Happy Diwali to all my Indian readers!

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