I have been generally feeling low since the past couple of weeks. Moving to a new city, a new home, the whole thought of having to adjust, know and learn to love a whole new place again, gives me a heartache truly. It takes so much time to get to know a new place, the people, to find friends, people who have the same wavelength as you is not an easy task. Add to that the pain of unpacking and setting up the whole house; AGAIN. I have done it 17 times now in my life and trust me, the novelty of it wears off.
But out of this general dissatisfaction that I am going through, the one silver lining is the huge oven that my new kitchen came fitted with. ???
So I had been itching to use it for making something fantabulous already. Did some smallish baking stuff for baby a few times already but was just looking for a chance to really break it in and make something yummylicious and awesome. So my birthday seemed to be the perfect time to do it. We had a few guests coming over and A and me discussed and decided to make any tandoori item and zeroed in on Chicken Afghani. Though it is technically supposed to be barbequed on a charcoal fire but the grilled version also turned out yummy.
The recipe I followed is below and this makes a perfect juicy, creamy Afghani chicken.
Chicken cut into large pieces – 1.5 kgs
Lemon juice – 1/4 cup
Cashew paste – 5 tbsp
Poppy seeds paste – 3 tbsp
Ginger paste -3 tsp
Garlic paste – 3 tbsp
Cream – 1/2 cup
Greem Cardamom -5
Fennel seeds – 2 tsp
Black pepper – 10/12
Ghee – for basting
Salt – for marinade as per taste
Butter- 5 tbsp
A minimum of 6 hrs are required for this dish, so if you wish to cook it in the evening, you should do the marination in the morning and leave it in the refrigrator.
Wash and dry the chicken pieces
Make 2-3 slits in all the pieces with a sharp knife
Marinade with lemon juice and salt. Rub in the lemon juice and salt with your hands, show some love to the chicken, I always feel marinating with hands gives a juicier result, so do show some love to the chicken. Now leave it for 20 mins
Soak 15-20 cashews and 3 tbsp poppy seeds in hot water for 10 mins and then grind it
Add it to the chicken
Add 3 tbsp ginger paste 3 tbsp garlic paste
Add 1/2 cup cream
Dry grind the Green Cardamom, Fennel seeds and black pepper and add this to the chicken
Add 4-5 tbsp of melted butter
Mix in the marinade properly
Now cover it with foil and put it in the refrigrator.
Let marinate for 6 hrs minimum
Take the chicken out half an hour before cooking it
Baste the chicken with Ghee / Clarified butter
Bake for 20 mins at 220 degrees, take it out and turn over the pieces
Now bake for another 10 mins
Grill for 10-15 mins more till you get the desired golden colour in top
Generally the chicken should be cooked in 40-45 mins easily. But a lot depends on the size of the chicken you are using too. Ensure that you do not over cook it else chicken becomes dry easily. Use a toothpick to check if it is done or not.
Let the oven cool and take out the chicken.Serve hot with juliennes of onion and mint chutney. Enjoy.