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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Murgh Korma (chicken cooked in a yogurt-almond sauce) & Kaddu (Indian-spiced pumpkin)

In a word?  Seductive.  This exotic chicken nestled in a yogurt-almond sauce is laden with heady spices that weave their way lazily from the pot and into your very being.  It's like a love spell...putting a slow easy smile on your lips...a dreamy glaze films your eyes...and a something stirs from deep in your loins...  It lured us all in with its sexy ways...seamlessly welcoming us to our table set with Indian classics.

Yes, this is the second installment of recipes to accompany dinner party for PFB challenge #3... A Taste of India!  If you decide to invite this Murgh Korma into your home and share it with your guests...keep in mind the spell it will cast upon them.  They will surely be under your its spell and feel right at home.

Murgh Korma
Chicken cooked in a Yogurt-Almond Sauce
from Climbing the Mango Trees by Madhur Jaffrey
serves 6-8

One 2½" piece fresh ginger, peeled & chopped
5 fat garlic cloves, peel & chop
3 Tbs. blanched, slivered almonds
1½ c. plain yogurt
1½ tsp. garam masala
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1½ tsp. sea salt
5 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into fine half-rings
Two 2-inch cinnamon sticks
8 whole cardamom pods*
2 bay leaves
3¼ lb. chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces & skinned
2 Tbs. sultanas (golden raisins)
3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro

Put ginger, garlic & ¼ c. of water into a blender.  Blend until you have a smooth paste.  Add the almonds and another 2 Tbs. water.  Blend again until you have a smooth paste.  

Put the yogurt in a bowl.  Whisk it lightly until smooth.  Add the garam masala, ground coriander, cayenned, and salt.  Stir well to mix.

Put oil into a large, nonstick pan and set over medium heat.  When hot, put in sliced onions.  Stir and fry for 10-12 minutes, turning heat down, if needed, until onions are reddish brown.  Remove the onion slices with a slotted spoon, squeezing out as much of the oil as you can with the back of a second spoon, and leaving that oil behind in the pan.  Spread the onion slices over a paper towel-lined plate.

Put the cinnamon, cardamom, and bay leaves into the same pan over medium.  Stir, once or twice.  A minute later, put in the chicken pieces, only as many as the pan can hold easily in a single layer.  Brown the chicken lightly on both sides, removing to a bowl when done.  Do all the chicken pieces this way.  Add the golden raisins.  Stir a few times and then add the paste from the blender.  Stir and fry for 2 minutes.  Now put in the contents of the bowl with the chicken, including all accumulated juices, the contents of the yogurt bowl, and the fried onions.  Stir to mix and bring to a simmer, still on medium.  Cover, turn the heat to low, and cook gently for 25-30 minutes, stirring gently now and then, until the chicken pieces are tender.  Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve.

*that I'm fortunate enough to have since Christo was awesome enough to send me some a while back!!

In the midst of the chicken's seductions...I raised a bite of the spiced pumpkin to my my mouth.  Nice.  Very nice. But... Truth?  If I'm putting something orange and smooshy into my better be sweet potato...or my mouth gets pissed!  No joke.  The mouth wants what the mouth wants, after all.  That aside, this understated dish of squash...cooked until tender with those pronounced spices...and then coaxed gently into a mash...was another gorgeous veg accompaniment to our Indian feast.!

Indian-Spiced Pumpkin
also from Madhur Jaffrey's Climbing the Mango Trees
serves 6-8

¼ c. olive oil
½ tsp. whole cumin seeds
½ tsp. brown mustard seeds
¼ tsp. nigella seeds
¼ tsp. whole fennel seeds
1/8 tsp. whole fenugreek seeds
2-3 dried hot red chilies
~2 lbs. pumpkin w/out skin or seeds (from an ~3 lb. pumpkin), cut into 1" cubes
1 tsp. sea salt
1½ Tbs. light brown sugar

Pour oil into a large, nonstick pan, and set over medium-high heat.  When hot, put in cumin and mustard seeds.  As soon as mustard seeds begin to pop, a matter of seconds, add the nigella, fennel, fenugreek, and red chilies.  Stir once quickly, and put in all the pumpkin.  Stir for a minute or two.   Cover, turn down heat to low, and cook for ~40 mins, or until just tender, stirring now and again and replacing cover.  Uncover, add salt and brown sugar.  Stir gently, mashing the pumpkin lightly.
*This post is linked to:
H‘nSgirlichef orange

Would you like to comment?

  1. I am not sure I even need to smell this or taste this to be under it's allure - wow!! Gonna have to keep this in mind when I need to win some hearts ;)

  2. This look so good, I have this bookmarked, thanks.

  3. awwwwwrghlllmmmmmmm... This looks soooooo gooooood. I can TASTE it! I lurve curry. Also nigella seeds: are these the seeds of the plant more commonly known as love-in-the-mist? Cuz I had TONS of that in my garden this year. I had no idea you could EAT them. I have to go buy pumpkin now!

  4. Wow heather.. kudos to you for dishing out such lovely Indian Dishes.. :)
    I am sure gonna try out most of the recipes.

  5. The yogurt almond sauce sounds fantastic - a super delicious dish!

  6. even-star...I wasn't sure so I looked it up. It's actually from the same family, but the edible seed is from a different variant... "The related Nigella sativa (and not N. damascena) is the source of the spice variously known as Nigella, Kalonji or Black Cumin."...from Wiki

  7. Ahhh, the dish of many names- and I love the spice, I give it to clients when I do Indian Market tours; it challenges them :)

    You are driving me nuts with this, I may have to go to TJ's and pick up some, because I have no time to cook tonight!

    PS- You get my vote because you are a woman of many talents, and love a challenge!

  8. I do love chicken in yoghurt sauces - especially when spiced as this. I may agree with the pumpkin - but you never know. Sweet potato might make me sing more. But the sauce will be on my agenda.

  9. The chicken looks simply stunning. I need just read the words 'garam masala' to start feeling hungry. The pumpkin looks equally tasty. Thanks.

  10. I love chicken and I'm always on the look out for new recipes!This looks good!

  11. I'm lovin' all these Indian dishes!! Yum!

  12. Oh, wow. I'm a big fan of Indian cooking and I've never seen a korma with almonds. I'll need to save this (and the pumpkin recipe... just gotta get the little guy out to buy his pumpkin soon!).

  13. Once again you are killing me with all this delicious Indian food. Can you move to NY so I can have a buddy to enjoy this food with...hehe :)

  14. you seem to be on an indian cuisine spree :) kaddu looks amazing..I love it with pooris [puffed deep-fried flatbreads] ..and the korma is to die for!
    voted for you dear!

  15. Dude just looking at that chicken is bringing back some AWESOME memories from when I made it. Damn that was good stuff.

    And given my total adoration for KNOW I'll be making this!

  16. this looks so delicious thank you for sending

  17. I can imagine the toasty and warm scent of that chicken while it was cooking. I just love all those warm spices and can definitely see how it would be so addictive.

  18. Just looking at this... and reading the ingredients has me under this meal's spell! I adore Indian food too and will make this a MUST try. Great post - and thanks for visiting my blog - hope to see you back Friday for the potluck! :)


  19. Your words are drawing me in, the chicken looks to die for

  20. Wow. I can hardly wait to make these dishes. They look and sound wonderful and so flavorful. Thanks for sharing. What a fun party you must have had.

  21. Me encantan estos platos exóticos, que no son típicos por aquí.

    Genial los dos.


  22. Heather! YOU MEANIE!!! Korma is my absolutely hands down favorite Indian sauce of all times. I simply adore the creamy cashews with the spices! What a lovely recipe as is your entire Indian feast. So, the question begs asking? When am I invited? lol Thanks for hosting and posting on the hearth and soul hop. hugs, Alex@amoderatelife

  23. It takes quite a bit to stir anything in my loins these days, but no doubt if anything would, it would be a a gorgeous dish like this. I could positively snuggle up with it, perfect for the Hearth and Soul hop.

  24. You are a pro!

    so what did your children think of the exotic flavors??

  25. Dave...they liked them! Good kids, they are ;) My youngest wanted to eat the whole dish of chicken by himself. SERIOUSLY!! We let him walk away with the last piece ;)

  26. Reading your posts is like reading a romance novel in which the food is the damsel who is devoured and I want to be Fabio because I want me some of that chicken!!!!!!! love this and love you!! Great hearth and soul hop post - and I wish I could vote again!

  27. Oh man, this looks amazing! Love the Fall twist on the recipe!

  28. Chicken korma looks n creamy..that spiced kaddu is a family favorite ,love it with hot nailed it!

    US Masala

  29. Both of those dishes sound awesome. My husband loves Indian food (and I like it too), so this would be a huge treat for him. I am saving it right now, and getting ready to vote for you.

  30. I have been eagerly awaiting both of these recipes since I saw your entry for PFB. The chicken looks so flavorful...I can only imagine how moist the yogurt must make it. And of course the Kaddu appeals to my pumpkin-loving self. Thanks for sharing!

  31. Okay, okay, I'm going to have to try this. It looks great. Your pictures are so good too. I could eat the screen!

  32. ohoho, the spice blend of the pumpkin kaddu sounds awesome! As it is Pumpkin season here, I am going to try this recipe soon!!

  33. oh em gee! look at this dish - makes my mouth watery!!! slurps!

    Have a lovely day love!!
    jen @