We are waiting eagerly for spring now. We've had enough of the bitter winds, gloomy greys, dark afternoons and black slushy leftover snow! It's time for some colours now. Some bright yellow sunshine, green shiny baby leaves and swaying colourful daffodils, poppies and tulips will be nice. I found some new daffodil and tulips coming out from their bulbs already in my backyard today. It's like Nature's getting a makeover overnight! And I got some peonies to plant as soon as it gets a bit warmer.
To enjoy forthcoming spring I thought of adding some colour to my food. Colour as in completely natural stuff. I wanted to make a nice hearty green dinner, but wasn't in a mood to eat salad or soup. Searched my favourite blogs and came across this Dahi Methi Murg on Soma's fabulous creation eCurry. Her pictures always leave me drooling all over and crave for the dish badly. This is one of those recipes! The husband is not very fond of fresh fenugreek so I made a few changes of mine and called it Dahi Hariyali Murg. Quite a grand name for such a simple dish I must say. But nobody will believe you if you tell them exactly how simple this dish is. Thank you Soma again for another gorgeous dish!
Dahi Hariyali Murg - Chicken in Green Yogurt Sauce
**Note - You can add 1 tbsp of corn flour to stabilize the yogurt before adding it to your dish. I've never had any problem with curdling, hence I never use it. But if you've had this problem in the past then it's recommended that you stabilize the yogurt before adding it to the curry.**
Chicken - 1.5 kg , thighs and legs (skin off, wash and pat dry with a kitchen towel)
For the marinade -
Lime/Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
Onion - 1 small, chopped
Minced Ginger - 2 tsp
Minced Garlic - 2 tsp
Hot Green Chillies - 3-4 (More or less depending on how much heat you can handle)
Salt - 1 tsp
For the Gravy -
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Onions - 2 large, thinly sliced
1 + 1/4 cup thick strained yogurt (Donot strain the yougurt if you are using Greek style)
Fresh Corriander leaves - 1 cup, chopped
Spinach leaves - 1/2 cup, chopped, blanched and pureed
Dried Fenugreek leaves(Kasoori Methi) - 2 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder - 2 tsp (Kashmiri chilli powder will give a nice colour without making it too hot)
2 tbsp ghee + 4 tbsp oil
Garam Masala - 1 tsp (optional - I didnot use it)
Dry Spices for tempering :
Green Cardamom - 5-6
Black Peppercorns - 4-5
Cinnamon - 2 inch stick
Bay Leaf - 1
Cut 2-3 small slits on the chicken pieces. Toss them with the lemon juice, half of the chilli powder and salt and keep aside for 20 minutes.
Grind everything under ''Marinade'' into a fine paste. Combine half of this paste with 1 cup of yogurt and marinate the lemon juice coated chicken pieces with this mixture. Coat all the pieces well. Keep marinated for a few hours.
Heat ghee & oil in a wide bottomed pan. Add all the ingredients under ''Tempering'' and let them sizzle for a few seconds without burning them. Add the onions, ginger-garlic-onion paste and sugar and fry till the onions start changing colour into a light golden brown. Once the onions cooked nicely the oil will separate.
Add the blanched and pureed spinach and cook the masala on high heat till oil separates again. Make a well in the middle of this masala paste and place the chicken pieces at the bottom, making direct contact with the bottom of the pan. This will help to brown the chicken pieces nicely.
Mix the rest of the marinade and the dried fenugreek leaves with 1/4 cup of yogurt and 1 cup of water and keep aside. Cook the chicken on high heat, keep on tossing the chicken pieces around so that they don't burn. Let the oil separate again. Take the pan off heat and add the yogurt mix and corriander leaves and mix well. Cover and cook on medium heat till the chicken is cooked thoroughly and tender.Uncover and simmer for 10 minutes to let the extra liquid to evaporate. I did this on high heat to dry it up completely. Adjust salt and add garam masala if you are using it.
Serve hot with Pulao or Indian flatbreads.