Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Badam Kismis ni Marghi saath Kersariya Chawal (Chicken cooked in an almond and raisin paste served with Saffron rice)

"What!?,two kilos?, no no I cant take so many," I said. "Okay then at least take half, my mother quipped dangling a large bag of almonds in front of me, that had been gifted to her by a friend. "But what will your father and I do with so many?", "Make marzipan" I said," Okay done deal, you make and get it here, we'll have it". "Agrrrr.... Okay I'll take half not more", and the matter was settled.

I left my mums house with more clothes than I came with, along with a kilo of almonds I had to think of using inventively a.k.a in a non sweet form (I've quit eating desserts and do not wish to inundate my family or friends with them either) so as I took a cab to leave my city and head home, I used those three plus hours to think of an old heirloom read forgotten Parsi recipe (this years resolution of mine) that could be made using almonds.

Thankfully home brought with it my lovely neighbour, Mrs K who gave me her grandmothers recipe of Badam Kismis ni Marghi a.k.a chicken cooked in an almond and raisin paste, served atop a bed of fragrant saffron rice. The title of the recipe itself was so titillating, that I decided to make it that very weekend, weight watching could wait....

Recipe below,

Serves 4

You will need:

2 chicken legs - cut into 3 pieces each
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
2 medium sized potatoes, skinned and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 star anise
1 tablespoon Ghee (clarified butter)
Salt to taste

For the rice:
1 1⁄2 cups basmati rice, uncooked
1⁄2 teaspoon saffron threads
8 whole cloves
4 green cardamom pods
1/2 tsp jeera (cumin) seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2-3⁄4 teaspoon black pepper (amount to taste)
1⁄2 cup cooked green peas (optional)

To be roasted and ground to a paste
25 gms almonds, boiled and peeled
30 gms, washed seedless raisins
3 Kashmiri red chilies, deseeded
1/4 inch piece cinnamon'
4 black peppercorns
1/4 tsp shahijeera
1 clove
1/2 tsp javitri (mace)
1/4 inch piece fresh ginger
3 to 4 garlic cloves


Pan fry the potatoes after soaking them in salted water for 30 mins, cook till soft and golden brown, drain on a paper towel and set aside.

In a large heavy bottomed pan add the ghee and fry the onions till soft and brown, next add the ground paste along with a tablespoon of water and saute for 2 to 3 mins.

Once the paste is slightly dark add in the washed chicken pieces along with 1 cup water and mix well.

Cover the pan with a lid and let the chicken cook through, approx 15 to 20 mins.

Once ready serve along with hot kesariya chawal or saffron rice.


To make the rice:
Soak saffron in 1/2 cup boiling water for 20-30 minutes.

Rinse the basmati under cold water in a sieve, until water runs clear, allow to drain.

Place the rice in a saucepan and add the 1/2 cup saffron water as well as 2 1/2 cups hot water, the cardamon pods, the cloves, jeera (cumin) seeds and the salt and pepper; stir to mix.

Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce heat, cover, and cook over low heat until the rice is tender, about 15-20 minutes.

If any liquid remains, drain it.

Stir peas into mixture, if desired, as a garnish; serve.

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