Murg do pyaaza

This recipe fed two people, both extremely good eaters and extremely starved when the lunch was made.

Ingredients:
1. 1 pound Chicken pieces serving size
2. 3 medium sized onions: half the onions finely chopped, the remainder roughly chopped
3. one tablespoon ginger garlic paste
4. 1 tsp coriander powder
5. 1 tsp cumin powder
6. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
7. 1 tsp red chili powder (or as taste buds permit)
8. 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
9. 2-3 bay leaves
10. 1/2 cup yogurt
11. 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
12. Salt to taste
13. cooking oil / ghee (as per cholesterol consciousness)
14. 1 tbsp fresh cilantro finely chopped (coriander, for those who like being Indian)
15. 2 tbsp lemon juice
16. 2 tbsp heavy cream (or as per cholesterol consciousness, though definitely not less than 1 tablespoon)

Method
1. Marinate the chicken with red chili, coriander, turmeric, cumin, garam masala powders,  yogurt and salt for about an hour.

2. Lightly grease a sauce pan (preferably with a large base, and you’ll know why, soon enough) with some oil. Spread half of the roughly chopped onions on the bottom. Add the chicken pieces and layer the rest of the chopped onions on top.
3. Cover pan with a tight fitting lid. Cook for 20-25 minutes on slow fire until the onions are reduced to a pulp and the chicken is tender. At this stage liquid almost dries up. If some liquid is still there cook it on medium heat without lid till liquid evaporates. (Remember the large base? It helps quicker evaporation.)
4. Heat some oil in another pan. Add bay leaves, sliced onions, ginger-garlic paste. Stir frequently for 8-10 minutes until the mixture turns to a crisp golden color.
5. Mix in tomatoes and stir fry until the tomatoes are reduced to a pulp and ghee separates.
6. Stir in chicken and onions. Mix all the ingredients well fry the mixture until it is well browned and a thick onion sauce has formed.
7. Add heavy cream, lemon juice and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
8. Serve hot with a bread of your choice. This recipe isn’t quite the kind you might enjoy with rice. The gravy is very thick and fairly less in quantity, hence best enjoyed with bread (read: naan, paratha, chapati, roomali roti…)

NOTES:
1. Do not add water at any stage or you will ruin the dish. A “Do Pyaaza” cooks in its own juices.
2. The name “Do pyaaza” comes from the fact that onions are used twice curing the preparation, once for the chicken and once for the gravy.
3. I urge you to add some heavy cream. It gives an amazing richness and an added flavour to the already scrumptious recipe.
4. Menon and I were too hungry to want to take a picture. And we didn’t have any left, after lunch. I promise to upload a picture the next time I cook it.

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