Spicy methi chicken recipe is a very personal recipe in that its’s the way I first cooked this methi dish.
For me it was a simple way of cooking methi chicken in my early years as a novice cook.
Over the years my cooking has evolved a lot but I still go back to this recipe simply because I love the taste and it was a quick method. One I tried out of curiosity and the sheer inquisitiveness of using fresh methi in a chicken curry, which in those days was not always abundantly available fresh.
It’s certainly not for everybody due to a slight bitterness it can impart but that is the appeal and its subtle aroma.
This is where my girls would sit with me, a tray on our laps, a colander and a plastic bag. They would pick the the methi leaves for me because I would make their favourite methi saag and I would make my curries!
Not so much the case now sadly, its just me solo! Its such a task when you get 6 bunches!
I used to grow methi in containers just as you do coriander and really nurture it so I could get 1 curry at least to enjoy. Now its readily available fresh or frozen.
Initially this recipe did not contain garam masala however in recent years I tend to add a little at the end as it gives it a little extra heat and aroma. It’s not essential and an optional preference.
It’s straightforward and easy. Just what I love about it.
2 bunches of fresh methi
1 whole small baby chicken or 700g, cut
5 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions sliced
2 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
3 ripe tomatoes roughly chopped
Salt to taste
1 1/2 tsp of Kashmiri Chilli powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 1/2 tsp of coriander powder
half a teaspoon of turmeric
half a cup of full fat yogurt at room temperature.
1 tsp of garam masala
Firstly, prepare your fresh methi. Pick the leaves of the stems then thoroughly wash the leaves and gently pat dry. Next roughly chop the Methi.
Take a pan and heat the vegetable oil until it hot then add your sliced onion.
Fry the onions until they are a crispy golden brown on a medium heat.
You should have quite a bit of colour in your onions which will ensure a flavoursome curry sauce.
Next add in your garlic and ginger paste and gently cook this for about 30 to 40 seconds so that it loses its rawness.
Now add your chicken to the pan and fry this in the oil and onions until it changes colour and takes on a little golden hue. do this on medium heat for at least 5 minutes so the chicken is no longer pink.
Add your fresh tomatoes, try to use red ripe tomatoes for better colour.
Also add in your salt, coriander, chili, turmeric and cumin powder giving it a good stir and mix. Now we cook the chicken until the tomatoes completely disintegrate and the spices cook out. During this process the tomatoes will provide the liquid content required for the spices to cook out. Continue to cook until the oil starts to separate.
Once you notice that the oil has nicely separated the tomatoes are cooked down well you should have a slightly reduced and darker sauce.
Add half a cup of water, cover and cook for about 7 minutes to allow the chicken to cook through.
Once the cooking time is over, you should notice that the chicken is partly cooked and the water will have reduced significantly to a thick glossy sauce.
Next add in the yogurt on a low flame and stir this in. The yogurt will release some water which will provide a lovely curry sauce and finish cooking the chicken. Add the chopped methi and gently cook until the oil starts to separate. At this stage your chicken should also get completely cooked through.
Sprinkle in the garam masala and stir, the methi chicken is ready to serve.
Tastes great with naan, paratha or plain chappati.
If you’re like me, and a Bengali at heart you will have it with hot rice!
This recipe requires fresh Methi. Dried fenugreek or Kasuri methi will not give the same taste as fresh methi.
But in case fresh methi is not available, you can make do with Kasuri methi.
Use only 2-3 tablespoon of Kasuri Methi in place of fresh methi. Kasuri Methi has a much-concentrated aroma and a little goes a long way.
Add the chicken before adding any kind of souring agents like curd or tomato. It will help the chicken cook well and become tender and not rubbery.
Add a little maida in the yogurt (Dahi). It will not let the yogurt separate or beat well and bring to room temp.
Add a little cream or fresh malai once the curry is done to make a rich and creamy version.
You can also add milk in place of water if you want a rich creamy curry.
If adding milk and cream, add some honey at the end to balance the taste.
You can make methi chicken dry by reducing the amount of water added in the gravy.
Or you can add more water and make a soupy curry. I like this curry with thick dry gravy.
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