Methi Chicken

Ingredients
1. 1 (2 to 3 pound) whole chicken
For the marinade:
2. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3. 1 tablespoon dhaniya powder (ground coriander seeds)
4. 2 teaspoons black pepper (I prefer freshly crushed peppers)
5. 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
6. 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
For the cooking:
7. 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee
8. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
9. 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
10. 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
11. 1 large onion, sliced
12. 2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
13. 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Optional:
14. 2 cups water
15. 1 cup coconut milk
16. 3 leaves fresh curry

Method
1. Clean, and cut chicken into 12 to 14 pieces. Place chicken in a large bowl, and season with turmeric powder, coriander powder, black pepper, chili powder, and salt. Cover bowl, and refrigerate for 1 hour. The longer the marination time, the better.
2. Heat ghee in a large pan over medium heat. Fry mustard seeds, fenugreek and cumin seeds for about 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Stir in the onions and the sliced green chillies (*). Let them cook until they begin to brown and are soft. The mixture will give off a strong aroma of methi. This will take about 10 minutes. Switch the heat off and let the flavour of the fenugreek seeds mix in with the onions.
4. After about 15 minutes, switch the heat on again. Stir in garlic and ginger pastes, and cook for another 2 minutes.
5. If the chicken has been marinated sufficiently long, add it to the pan and stir well. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
6. Stir to keep the chicken from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Stir in lime juice, and cook until dry.

(*)Further steps (optional):
If you intend to make this more of a curry-based recipe as opposed to the dry one I have suggested above, please follow the steps below:
7. At step 3, add a few curry leaves as well. Proceed with step 4 as suggested.
8. At step 5, add a little water with the chicken and cook it for about 20 minutes. Omit step 6 here, to add coconut milk instead.
9. Stir in the coconut milk and cook until the gravy reaches desired consistency.
10. Add some lime juice, if desired.

Notes:
1. I didn’t have curry leaves the first time I tried making this recipe. So I tweaked it a little The result was awesome.
2. The second time around, I DID have the curry leaves, so I made a methi based coconut curry. That was great too.
3. I mentioned the consistency of the curry in step 9 because different people like their curries different. If you plan on eating it with roti or naan, a thick gravy is good. With rice, thin curries are awesome.
4. There was a little “farewell party” July 16th. Adi was leaving for India, for the summer. Menon is packing off to India for good August 3rd. I’m off to Santa Cruz, CA to stay with the extended family while I look for a job. So yes, this was probably the last time we were hanging out on a larger scale. There was Tawa Fried Ginger Chicken, the recipe for which is the previous post on my blog. There was the methi chicken, dry. There was paneer makhani and vegetable pulav, to accommodate the noob vegan Chammu. The guys claim they liked the food. I’ll believe them. There was just about enough for 8 guys and me. And there was a shitloada booze after that.
5. My advice: Stay away from cheap whisky.

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