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Delicious Chicken Masala Recipe

Hey everyone, nomoshkar and welcome to Curries With Bumbi. Today on the menu is something that you will commonly find at most of the Indian restaurants. It is chicken masala where the chicken is cooked along with a special flavorful spice blend in a thick curry sauce. Sounds yummy, ha? Okay, let’s get into it.

As always, I like using bone-in chicken for any kind of curry recipes. I have used leg and thigh pieces. Into it goes finely grated ginger and garlic. You can even use ginger garlic paste. Add 3 heaped tablespoons of plain unflavored yogurt. You can use regular or Greek yogurt but please make sure that it is plain and unflavored. Then I added a little bit of turmeric powder. After everything is mixed very well, add a teaspoon of oil, give a final mix and allow it to get marinated for a minimum of an hour or overnight. Make sure to put it in the refrigerator if you plan to marinate it for over an hour.

Preparing the Special Aromatic Spice Blend

Next, coming to that special aromatic spice blend. Pan over low heat. Add coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Then here comes the warm spices: cinnamon stick, cardamoms, cloves, and this is mace. If you cannot get hold of whole mace like this then you can even use ground mace but add it later after grinding the spices. I also like adding a little bit of salt as it helps the spices to heat up evenly and also helps in grinding. Stir constantly on a low heat till they become fragrant and turn a shade darker in color. Then take it off heat and transfer the spices to a bowl. Once it cools down, grind them in a spice or coffee grinder but remember to keep a coffee grinder just for grinding spices. The last thing you want to make is a roasted coffee flavored masala chicken. After grinding, your spice blend should look like this.

Making the Spice Paste

Coming to the spice paste. In a bowl, add ground turmeric, Kashmiri red chili powder (or you can use regular chili powder or even paprika if you do not want the heat), ground coriander, and 5 tablespoons of water. Mix very well and your spice paste is all done.

Cooking the Chicken Masala

Let’s now start cooking and I heard you saying “phew, finally I can see the pan.” Medium heat, 4 tablespoons of oil. Onions enter the scene. Stir the onions frequently on medium-high heat till they develop a golden brown color and whether you like it or not, it took me about 12 minutes of onion sitting to come to this color. A lot of patience is required but totally worth it, I can assure you that.

Okay, next I added a dried bay leaf and in goes the marinated chicken. Now increase the heat to high and stir for about 3 to 4 minutes. Then the spice paste goes in. It’s now all that frequent stirring you need to do on high heat. The chicken will release its own water and that water will dry up, so stir, stir, stir.

Okay guys, so now you can see the water that had rendered out from the chicken has dried up. At this point, I added blended tomatoes and salt. I just blended 2 medium ripe tomatoes in my blender. You can even use 3/4th of a cup of canned crushed tomatoes. Now cover the pan partially for 10 minutes. In between, remember to give a stir. 10 minutes done.

A sprinkle of sugar to balance the flavor. Then time for the aromatic spice blend to perfume the dish, and crushed kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves. Do not worry if you do not have fenugreek leaves, it will still be delicious. I promise. Add about ½ a cup of hot water. Remember guys, this is not a gravy style chicken curry so it won’t be having a lot of gravy. We are looking for a thick sauce but if you want more of that sauce then you can use a total of a cup of water. Now all you need to do is cover it on very low heat for 20 minutes or until the chicken turns tender. Just give a stir in between so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. 20 minutes done, lift off and look at that gorgeousness. It’s becoming so hard for me to do my voice over now as I am literally salivating.

Discard the bay leaf as its job is done. Always do a taste test and adjust the seasonings accordingly. It shouldn’t be very salty but the right amount of salt will do all the magic. So always taste it and add salt if required. Finally, a shower of coriander leaves and I know many of you do not like coriander leaves, so do not add it if you dislike it. After all, you are the boss of your masala chicken. Serve this with rice, roti, naan, or paratha.

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