|Chicken in a Spicy Red Sauce|
lal shorve vala murgh
via Madhur Jaffrey's Quick and Easy Indian Cooking
- 2-1/4 pounds chicken pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 7 large cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped (we grated ours, since chopping ginger is more trouble than it's worth)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Generous pinch asafetida optional (this is a powder that's available at Indian grocers. Alternately, you can get it at The Spice House online.)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 inch stick cinnamon
- 6 cardamom pods (didn't have the pods on hand. I did have cardamom seeds. I used about a dozen)
- 5 whole cloves
- 3 dried, hot red chiles (I used my own dried cayenne)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (don't be a wuss, use 1/4)
- 1-1/2 cup canned, chopped tomatoes (I used canned whole tomatoes. They'll break up during the cooking)
- 12 ounces potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks (I'm pretty sure we cut ours into 1/2 inch chunks because I don't read directions particularly well)
- Sprinkle the chicken pieces lightly with salt and black pepper and set aside.
- Put the garlic and ginger into a blender, along with 3 tablespoons water and blend into a paste.
- Put the oil in a wide, nonstick pan and set over medium high heat (I used my enameled Dutch oven. I figured there's be a lot going on here and I didn't want everything spilling over the sides of my pan. The Wife will abide a small mess, but nothing extravagant). When the oil is hot, put in the asafetida if using. A few seconds later, put in the cumin seeds. Wait 10 seconds and put in the cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves and chiles. Stir for a few seconds until the large spices begin to turn darker. Add the garlic and ginger paste. Stir and fry it for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken, turmeric and cayenne. Stir and fry for another minute (nothing like dozens of tiny time constraints to make you want to order a pizza). Add the chopped tomatoes, potatoes, 1-1/4 cup water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken and potatoes are tender (I'd be more concerned with the chicken being done. An undercooked potato won't kill you).