When you have vet visits thrown into the already hectic mix of grocery shopping, library, working out, office assignments (ugh), paying bills (quadruple ugh) ... it doesn't leave you with a lot of time to get gourmet in the kitchen. That's when you really appreciate the simple, mid-week recipes that you've relied on time and again - something that you can throw together without thinking about it too much, but can still pack a real flavor punch. Because of all the fresh herbs I use to freshen up this Chicken Qorma, I'm submitting it to this week's Weekend Herb Blogging round-up, hosted by Chriesi at Almond Corner - you should see the magic she's worked on some fresh arugula for her own submission to this event!
Chicken Qorma Lite (mainly following Fauzia's delicious recipe)
1.5 lbs chicken, skinless and cut into pieces
2 tbsp canola/vegetable oil
2 medium onions, sliced
2-3 small green chillies, chopped
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped plus more for garnish
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped plus more for garnish
2 tbsp shredded coconut
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1.5 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp ginger paste
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup plain yogurt, whipped
1.5 cups water
1. Marinate the chicken with the salt, turmeric powder, garam masala, coriander powder, ginger and garlic for half an hour.
2. Heat the oil on medium-high and saute the onions till golden.
3. Then add in the marinated chicken pieces, plus red chilli powder, and stir-fry for about 5 mins.
4. To this, add in the green chillies, yogurt and sprinkle on the shredded coconut and stir about for another 1-2 mins.
5. Pour in the water and throw in the mint leaves and cilantro. Bring the whole mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium, cover and let it simmer for 15 mins.
6. Remove the chicken pieces from the pot and keep them aside. Turn the heat off. Use your immersion blender to whiz the sauce till smooth (well, almost).
7. Add the chicken back to the sauce, turn the heat back on high and reduce the sauce till it gets to the consistency you like - another 5 mins or so (I like it saucy, because I'm that kind of gal). Garnish with more mint and cilantro and serve with white rice or hot rotis.
Verdict: This recipe is actually much lighter than the Chicken Qorma you've had in desi restaurants or at parties. And the significant amount of mint and cilantro that's added in during the cooking process (rather than just as a garnish) really freshens up the flavor and adds to the aroma. You'll also like the hint of coconut in there. When I first started making this, I wouldn't blend the sauce, but that left the texture a bit gritty because of the shredded coconut. Once I blended it though, that problem was eliminated and the whole sauce just had a more cohesive flavor. Overall, a very reliable and simple recipe.