1.5 to 2 Hours
1. As always, we wash the chicken pieces properly till the water rinsed is absolutely clear (neither red nor pink). Once done, let the excess water drain and then put the pieces in a bowl then prepare the marinade. Here, we have taken curry cut (medium pieces) with bone and without skin.
2. For marinade, we will take 1 cup curd and add 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder and ½ tbsp turmeric powder, mix these well to make a consistent and smooth paste. This marinade will help kill the raw smell in chicken and add flavor as well as color to the final dish.
3. We then pour the marinade over chicken slowly and ensure that it reaches every piece completely coating it. Once chicken is properly marinated, we cover it and keep in the fridge. Now, best case would be to marinade overnight but at least 1 hour is must to ensure that the marinade does its job and is infused with the meat.
4. While the chicken pieces marry the marinade, let us prepare the gravy. For our base gravy we need to take 4 medium onions and traditionally cut them into wafer thin slices to ensure they are fried properly and evenly.
5. Next up, we need to assemble our raw spices (non-ground) and for this the list looks like this
• Cashew – 12 pieces
• Green Cardamom – 4 pieces
• Black Cardamom – 1 piece
• Bay leaf – 1 piece
• Clove – 3 to 4 pieces
6. Before we start with anything else, we will take some warm water and soak cashew nuts in it. We only need to soak them for about 5-10 minutes so it is better to do it first so that by the time we are done chopping and grinding other ingredients, the cashews will be good to go.
7. Take a pan/wok (preferable with some depth) and add 75 ml oil to it. We use mustard oil because it gives a raw natural smell and enhances both taste and color.
8. Once oil heats up, we add the sliced onion and nothing else. The aim is to fry the onion to a crisp golden-brown colour and then later infuse with other ingredients.
9. Fry the onions at high flame for 2 minutes this should make the onion soft and slightly pink/translucent in color.
10. Now set the flame to medium and fry for another 5 minutes. You should be able to see a golden/brown glaze coming.
11. This is the ideal time to set the flame to low since we do not want to speed the frying process and end up burning the onions. Fry for another 5 minutes and the result with a crisp golden-brown fried onions.
12. Drain the oil and keep the fried onion aside to cool down. Do not throw the oil as we will need it later. Besides, it has the flavor of fried onions to it so that makes it extra special.
13. Prepare the other ingredients by peeling the garlic, chopping the onion and cutting 2 green chillies. These can be added just like that to the grinder but there is a chance we may end up getting a chunk later. So, slight dicing never hurts.
14. Take a grinder and add the fried onions along with soaked cashews, garlic, ginger and green chilly. Add some water and make a fine paste with a thick consistency (something like ketchup). The paste will come out as yellow or mustard color paste.
15. Time to bring back the leftover oil we used earlier for frying onions and top it up with remaining 50 ml oil in a pressure cooker. Once the oil heats up, we add the below mentioned raw spices to it
• Bay leaf – 1 piece
• Cloves -3 pieces
• Green Cardamom – 5 pieces
• Black Cardamom – 1 pieces
16. Immediately we add the paste we prepared in grinder to this and set the flame to low. Keep in mind that the paste will tend to stick to the bottom of cooker so you would have to constantly keep moving it using a spoon or spatula. Also note that the paste will absorb all the oil.
17. We have to cook this till the paste starts leaving oil and a good indicator will be that the past will change color to light brown. It should look something like this
18. Now for ground spices, we will be using 3 simple spices
• Dhania powder – 2 tbsp
• Bhuna jeera powder – 1 tbsp
• Garam masala powder – 1 tbsp
19. We add the ground spices and continue cooking at low flame only for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes we add the chicken pieces and the leftover marinade to this mix.
20. Set the flame to high and cook for 2-3 minutes or till you see oil oozing out of the gravy around chicken pieces. At this stage we close the cooker lid and pressure cook our dish till we get 2 whistles. Post this, turn off the flame and let the pressure settle. After 5-10 minutes when we open the lid, the dish would look something like this.
21. Voila, chicken korma is ready.