Murgh Qorma is one dish I and my family cannot live without, because we are pakka Hyderabadis at heart. Its Irf‘s most loved dish. He will rate it ten out of ten all the time.
The masala which forms the base of the gravy consisting of yogurt, ginger-garlic, groundnut, coconut and fried onions and cashew nuts, chironji nuts and almonds, for this classic Hyderabadi dish is first braised/’bhun-na’ until oil floats on top, a technique essential for Qorma preparation, and then in the end, water is added to give it a gravy consistency and the chicken is simmered on low in the creamy fragrant yogurt sauce. Qorma is usually had along with Naan or Rumali Roti. The bread is dipped into the warm sauce, and had with a few bits of Chicken in each morsel.
A typical Hyderabadi menu for an occasion such as marriage will be: Non-Vegatarian or Vegetarian Kababs, or Spring rolls, or Marag as Appetizer; Any Sookha Salan (dry curry) of Chicken or Mutton; or a Chicken or Lamb Qorma (this will be the Patla Salan - gravy curry) with Rumali Roti (Rumali in Urdu language means kerchief, its called so because the roti/flat bread is unbelievably as thin as a kerchief!, it is light and very yummy); a Lamb Biryani or Chicken Biryani along with Mirchi Ka salan; and then a Meetha in the end. Ah! I am missing India and my hometown’s wonderful and mouth watering dishes. I am proud of my native home, Hyderabad for its most illustrious and scrumptious cuisine. Inshallah will post the recipes of each and every recipe here to share with you all, the way I prepare it in my house.
I plan to inshallah someday publish a cookbook of my own where I can write all my recipes, my version of Hyderabadi Cuisine. I have not done much about it at all. This thought and wish always lingers on my mind and I will inshallah definitely be doing something about it. I will need resources for this project though.
Lazeez Murgh Qorma with Parathas in the Milton hot-pot
You can also add heavy cream, cashew nuts, chironji nuts or almonds, shallow fried quartered potatoes, or shallow fried large cauliflower florets to the gravy. But it is optional. You can even omit chicken or lamb/sheep meat only add potatoes and cauliflower instead, to make it ‘Aloo/Potato, or PhoolGobi/Cauliflower Ka Qorma’, a vegetarian version. Or simply make it ‘Malai/Creamy Qorma’, excluding both the meat and vegetables.
Lazeez Murgh Qorma – Chicken Simmered in Fragrant Spiced Coconut-Groundnut-Yogurt Sauce
Chicken with bone/Boneless Chicken Breast – washed and cubed into bite size pieces, 600 gms
Red Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Ginger-Garlic Paste – 2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Lemon juice – 1 1/2 tsp
Onions – 4, large, sliced thick into semi circles
Cashewnuts, Chironji nuts and Almonds – 1 tbsp each, soaked in 1 tbsp milk for 30 mins (optional)
Yogurt – 400 ml, lightly beaten
Coconut cream powder – 1 tbsp
Roasted Groundnut paste -1 tbsp
Mint leaves/Pudina – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Cilantro – 1/2 cup, loosely packed and finely chopped
Green chillies – 3, small sized, finely chopped
1. Marinate the chicken in ginger-garlic paste and lemon juice mixture for an hour.
2. Take a heavy bottomed non stick saucepan or a cast iron pan on medium heat and once it is warm enough, throw in the thickly sliced onion semi circles with no oil. Keep stirring and cooking the onion until the onions are lightly browned in color. Once done, transfer them into a blender container. Add the soaking cashew nuts, almonds and chironji nuts along with the milk to the blender container. Also pour in the yogurt and coconut cream and process/blend till it is a smooth puree.
3. In heavy bottomed non stick saucepan, heat 3 tbsp canola oil and add the marinated chicken, quickly fry them lightly on all sides in batches, stirring gently and occasionally till just lightly browned. Remove them with a slotted spoon in a bowl and keep aside.
4. In the same pan with the leftover oil in which the chicken were just shallow fried, add 3 more tbsp canola oil at medium heat . As it warms up add the pureed onion-yogurt mixture and let it cook for five minutes on medium flame. Reduce the flame to medium low, add red chilli powder, salt, turmeric and mix well. Cover it for a minute. Keep a close eye on it and keep giving it a stir every now and then. Add the roasted groundnut paste to it. Mix well and cover the lid again. The oil should start to separate by now. Let it cook a bit more, if the mixture has become too dry add a few splashes of water and cook it till all the oil has very nicely separated out.
5. Gently drop in the shallow fried chicken pieces in the cooking gravy and mix well. Cover the lid for a minute. Pour in two glasses of water. Add the mint, cilantro and green chillies. Mix well and increase the flame to medium high, let it it come to a boil once. Lower the heat, cover the lid and let it cook for 10 minutes. Once the chicken is done, serve it immediately.
I am sending this Qorma to Meeta as the theme for her Monthy Mingle this time is ‘Comfort Foods’. I’m waiting for its round up, now who doesnt like Comfort Foods?!; and I am also sending this as an entry to ‘Think Spice, Think Turmeric‘ event being hosted by Sudeshna.