Nigella Lawson’s Chicken Mughlai: Indian Inspiration

I was inspired to make this watching Nigella Lawson create a delectable Indian feast.  And now I hope to inspire you to try her Chicken Mughlai because it is GOOOOOD!  Usually, I tweak a recipe to fit my taste, but when it comes to savory Indian dishes, I trust in Nigella.  This is her recipe beginning to end.

The ingredient list for Chicken Mughlai is somewhat intimidating, simply because it is so long and has a couple of less common items, but we can do this, so let’s cook:

  • 1 one-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 4 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 cardamom pods, bruised (See Note)
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 pounds boned chicken thighs, each cut into 2
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Note:  This recipe calls for cardamom pods and garam masala.  I found both and much more at a local Indian grocery.  To “bruise” the cardamom pods, put them on hard surface and THWACK them with the wise edge of a large kitchen knife.  So satisfying!

Put the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, and chili into a food processor and blend to a rough paste.

Add the almonds and water and then blend again, set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the chicken pieces in batches.  Cook them just long enough to brown lightly on both sides, then remove to a plate.

Add the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaves and chopped onion to the oil.

Cook over medium heat until the onions are softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Add the reserved the almond paste, and cook everything until it begins to brown slightly.

Add the yogurt, chicken stock, cream, and golden raisins.

Put the browned chicken back into the pan, along with any juices they have released.

Sprinkle with the garam masala, sugar, and salt.

Cover and cook on a gentle heat for 20 minutes, testing to make sure the meat is cooked through.  Bring this to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight.  When ready to serve, warm over gentle heat and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

As if this were possible, this dish tastes even better than it looks.  My entire family devoured it.  Even my darling 4-year old who is picky in the extreme ate it which is just this side of miraculous.  Serve with naan, plain rice or Indian Rice Pilaf.

I may try this Indian thing again…soon.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Mughal Touch: Ancient Influences on Modern Weddings - […] A savory chicken mughlai – flavored with saffron, peppers, and almonds, courtesy of Nigella Lawson's recipe. […]
  2. The Essential Guide to Mughal Weddings: Food and Dessert - […] Chicken Mughlai is prepared with roasted almonds, cream, and fresh spices – Nigella Lawson's recipe. […]

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