Re: [gardeners] OT: Recipe for the season

Jane Burdekin (
Thu, 23 Jul 1998 05:11:10 -0600

Thanks for the recipe Liz, it sounds really good.  I may have to invest in
Julie Sahni's book.  I'll have to give this one a try.  Jane 

> What season?  The Walla Walla sweet onion season!
> Every year Margaret hosts a cocktail party that features Walla Walla 
> sweets and chopped liver when the season hits.  I fix Murgh Masala, 
> aka Chicken in Onion Tomato Gravy.  The following is Julie Sahni's 
> recipe from _Classic Indian Cooking_.
> Serves 8 or makes 2 meals for Ray
> 2 three-pound chickens cut into serving pieces (or about 3-4 pounds 
> skinless, boneless chicken, I use thighs)
> 10 T oil (I use 2T oil)
> 6 cups thinly sliced onions
> 2 T finely chopped garlic
> 3 T finely chopped ginger
> 2 three-inch cinnamon sticks
> 4 black (or 8 green) cardamom pods (or about 1 tsp ground cardamom)
> 1 T turmeric
> 1 t red pepper (ground dried N. Indian chiles are best else use 
> cayenne)
> 2.5 c. pureed fresh tomatoes or 2 c drained canned maters
> 1 T kosher salt (or scant T other salt)
> 2 c hot water
> 3-4 T chopped coriander leaves (or more to taste)
> 1 T ground roasted cumin seeds
> Roast cumin seeds over medium heat until slightly darker and 
> fragrant.  Cool and grind in spice or electric coffee grinder.
> Remove skin from chicken pieces.  Pour 2T oil into large, heavy, 
> nonstick pot and heat on high.  When very hot brown the chicken (a 
> few pieces at a time so it gets really brown).  Set chicken aside.
> Add onion to pot, add remaining 8T of oil if using it, reduce heat to 
> med-high and fry onions until they are light brown (about 30 
> minutes).  [I fry WWs for about 5 minutes on high.]  Add garlic and 
> ginger, cook another 5 minutes.  Add cinnamon and cardamom pods (if 
> using ground cardamom don't add it now) and cook for about 2 minutes 
> until the spices are somewhat darkened and puffy.  Add the turmeric, 
> pepper (and ground cardamom if using it), stir rapidly for 15 seconds 
> then add the tomatoes.  Stir until the sauce is a nice golden red 
> color then add the chicken, salt and 2 cups of hot water.  Stir, 
> reduce to low heat and simmer until chicken is tender -- about 40 - 
> 45 minutes.
> Gravy should be slightly thick -- boil off any excess liquid or add 
> liquid if necessary.  Turn off heat and let the dish rest at least 1 
> hour, 2 is better and overnight is fabulous.  To serve, reheat, mix 
> in the ground cumin, check for salt, fold in cilantro and serve with 
> rice or bread.
> I like to serve cauliflower with ginger and grilled eggplant with 
> this dish and have been known to skip the bread and rice in favor of 
> potatoes.  
> Oh, if you are not lucky enough to have access to Walla Walla sweets
> you can make the authentic dish in order to use up the surfeit of
> shallots we all have thanks to Margaret's generosity.  Yep, in the
> dead of winter I made this dish with 6 cups of shallots and it was
> heavenly.  Almost every Indian dish, if authentic, uses shallots
> rather than onions.
> Liz