Nigella’s Mughlai Chicken
When I first saw Ms. Lawson cooking this recipe, I was smitten. I love a good curry and when I saw that this one was very similar to my all-time favourite, Korma, I knew I would be trying it soon. Fast forward a couple of years, and I completely forgot about this version, until a repeat of the program was on one rainy day and I was reminded of it. For once, I had all the ingredients in the house and decided to go ahead and make it immediately. I was also quite happy that I wouldn’t have to make two different curries like I always do, one spicy and one mild for the kids. Nigella’s Mughlai Chicken has all the depth and warmth you want from a curry but it’s sweeter and milder as there is such a small amount of chilli involved. I did alter the recipe slightly so suit my tastes but it’s been kept very much the same as Nigella’s.
What I loved most about this was that it had the same delicious creaminess a Korma delivers but it was much easier as I didn’t have to grind the cashews that a Korma requires. Instead Nigella uses ground almonds (duh!). This is great served with steamed Basmati rice BUT I have to be honest, I wish I had some Naan bread and poppadoms to mop up the sauce (but then again, I would eat Naan and poppadoms with anything).
2.5cm fresh ginger, peeled
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp dried chilli (optional)
4 tbsp ground almonds
5 cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1.5kg boneless chicken thighs, cut in half
2 onions, finely chopped
250ml plain yoghurt
250ml chicken stock
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt flaked almonds, toasted, to serve
- Put the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander and chilli into a food processor, and blend to a paste. Add the ground almonds and water, then blend again, and set aside.
- Heat 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a large pan and add the chicken pieces and cook them in batches, just long enough to seal on both sides, then remove and set aside.
- Add the spices and stir to coat them in the oil. Add the chopped onion to the pan of spices, and cook until softened and lightly browned. Pour in the blended paste, and cook everything until it begins to colour. Add the yogurt then stir in the stock and cream.
- Put the browned chicken (and all their juices) back into the pan and sprinkle over the garam masala, sugar and salt. Cover and cook on a gentle heat for 20 minutes, testing to make sure the chicken meat is cooked through.
- When the chicken is fully cooked, serve the Mughlai chicken with toasted almonds and rice, naan or poppadoms.