Saturday, May 12, 2012

Cream Chicken Chawla's Chicken Style

Chicken!
Chicken Curry...that reminds you of home..
And take away!

And Chawla's Cream Chicken.
You cant have lived in North India and not have tasted Chawla's Chicken...well at least, heard of it.
This little red glob is ubiquitous ,visible at almost every colony main road...and tells you that a hot meal is never too far away!
Take away from Chawla's is hot, oily and tastes heavenly.Full of cream and butter and good taste.
The taste of coming home.
This is nostalgia.
And a way to use up baked chicken.
Hubby dear was back seat driving as usual...directing me from his throne...the bed(the cast on the foot prevents his total kitchen domination!) to use my new oven more productively i.e. not sweet but Chicken!
This is his favourite chicken bake.
A whole chicken marinated with garlic ,salt ,pepper and lemon juice for a couple of hours, and baked at 200C for an hour with a smattering of Olive oil. Covered for 40 minutes and then uncovered for 20-25 minutes.
Bhel Puri became our dinner Wednesday night and the baked chicken was relegated to the fridge. The gelatinous juices solidified and that is the funny thing you see beside the pieces.
This called for a rescue, the poor chicken had not given up its life to spend its life freezing its cooked butt off in the back of the fridge.
This rhapsody was its requiem.
Too flowery??Well ,the curry was Fan Da bi Dozi!

Try ,try ,try...till you get the same taste as Chawla's Cream Chicken. this was close.

for the

Cream Chicken Chawla's Chicken Style...

you need

1 whole chicken-cut into 8-10 pieces and marinated in lemon juice,salt, pepper and garlic.
1 tsp shahi jeera /Black cumin seeds
1 tbsp refined vegetable oil/desi ghee
1 large onion roughly chopped
6-7 cloves garlic
1 inch piece ginger
2 tbsp Kasoori Methi/dried fenugreek leaves
2 cups/475 gms sour yogurt
50 gms cashew nuts
salt,red chili flakes to taste
2-3 bay leaves


Start with the chicken. If you do not want to bake the chicken you can also cook the chicken with LESS oil in a pan and keep all the juices. When you bake or cook the chicken, ensure that you do not pour the marinade along with the chicken .That must  be drained,otherwise you end up with a bitter aftertaste.
Once the chicken is cooked, you can start with the gravy.
First the onions, garlic and ginger go into a wet grinder.you don't want pieces of onion in your mouth, so grind away...

OK, oil in pot...and in goes the shahi jeera.
Shahi jeera is the nobler cousin of the regular cumin seeds. Richer and more complex in flavour , and gets along famously with all things white. Especially Rice.
PS thhis is a super blown up pic of the shahi jeera/black cumin...they are the same size as regular cumin...only thinner!The idea was not to scare you...just show off their beauty.
Pop the bay leaves in when you add the onions...or later.
So here goes.
Yup, this is a clay pot, or a clay handi.I told you , I received specific directions from hubby dear.
Now in go the pureed onion mix.
White here...so we don't let the onions caramelize.
In the meanwhile, rinse the jar and pop in the cashew nuts and the fenugreek.
Grind and add some water.
Once the onions are translucent,Add in the red chilli flakes and salt.
Then pour in the cashew mix. Add as much warm water to jar, as needed to remove the gloppy mess .
All into the pan, stirred on a low flame till it comes to the boil.
Beat the yogurt really well, there should be absolutely no lumps.This is the before...
And this is what we put the yogurt into....

On a low heat and stirring constantly add the yogurt and don't stop stirring till it comes to a boil.
If you've never done this before, you would be wise to add 1/2 tsp corn starch to the curd to ensure it does not split.
Split yogurt in a curry tastes BAD and is  akin to a himachali dish called Madira.
I'll visit the in laws later...
Check the seasoning in the curry,add more salt and red chili FLAKES if needed. You don't want to use a chili powder which will give a red colour. If you have doubts use pepper- white /black.
Now pop the chicken in .
Cook covered, at least for 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve Piping hot with naan or lachcha parantha or roti or garlic bread ...or just plain white bread.
yum yum yum...
You can also try a vegetarian version of this curry with paneer too. Never fails.
The original Cream Chicken Chawla's Chicken Style, calls for a bucket full of cream and milk...that sort of makes the chicken sweet and is a recipe for a heart attack. Enjoy this guilt free version any time.

Mild and sublime...
Wow!


So what are you baking today???




6 comments:

Mary Oxendale Spensley said...

I wonder if this is the fabulous chicken that our hotel in Gurgaun ordered in for us. I've been trying to re-create it since. Will try your recipe asap!

Sweet said...

hey mary...
did you try the chicken???
If you are daring enough ,you can subs some of the yogurt with cream...but I dont think its worth the calories...This recipe is also a recreation...after many trials and errors!
Hope you lovvvveee the curry...
cheers!

Ritesh said...

Where is the cream in this?? If I want to substitute cream with yogurt, how much cream should I put?

Thanks

Sweet said...

hi ritesh thanx for stopping by...
subs half the yogurt with dairy cream Non dairy cream does not cook to well.
Use approx 250 mils sour yogurt to ccok the gravy and then just when you are almost done add the cream and bring to a simmer.
Dont cook too long after you add the cream Enjoy hot and with fresh bread...
enjoy!

Mamta Chhabra said...

Bhai ye kya banwa diya, It's just let tasting like kadhi..... My bad experience....

Sweet said...

Hey mamta, did you follow the recipe???? ...it never tastes like kadhi...I make it with chicken, paneer and koftas alike....

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