This was awesome! Giles wanted Chicken Tikka, but I didn’t have the tandoori paste nor did I have the time to marinate the chicken. What I did have, and wanted to use in something, was a fresh bulb of fennel. I read somewhere that this could be used in place of onions on Indian dishes. In this case, I used both.
Mise en place:
6 green cardamom pods, bruised to release the flavor
2" cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper powder or pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon ground coriander
Ginger & Garlic Paste
1 inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, peeled
2-3 tablespoons water
1lb chicken breast or thigh fillets, diced.
1/2c plain yogurt
1/4c vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 small bulb of fresh fennel, stems removed and sliced thin
1c chicken stock (or warm water)
½ c roasted unsalted cashew pieces
A pinch of saffron threads
¼ c heavy cream
½ teaspoon garam masala
salt to taste
- Put the chicken into a large ziplock bag. Whisk the yoghurt (this prevents curdling during cooking) then add with chicken in the bag. Set aside for 15-20 minutes.
- Make the ginger & garlic paste by blending the ginger and garlic together in a food processor with a little water until it is a puree.
- Heat the oil over a low heat and add the cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Let them sizzle for 25-30 seconds and add the onions and fennel. Increase the heat to medium and fry until they soften (~10 minutes).
- Add the ginger & garlic paste and fry for another couple of minutes.
- Add the remaining spices and fry gently for about a minute.
- Add the chicken and increase the heat to medium high. Stir until the chicken is opaque. pour in the stock or water, cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the cashews and saffron in a blender and add the cream. Blend until smooth and add to the chicken.
- Add the garam masala and cook, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve.