Marchwangan Korma / Mirch Korma
My husband is a die-hard red meat fan or I should say a die-hard mutton fan. Since I don’t happen to prefer this variety of meat, I could never master the art of cooking it. In 2005, there was this Book Fair in Delhi where we decided to go as we are both avid readers. It was there I came across this recipe book which had the best dishes of the Land of Ethereal Beauty in India - Kashmir.
There was this recipe called Marchwangan Korma/Mirch Korma meaning a spicy red chilli dish. The following recipe is my variation on the Mirch Korma with the chicken ingredient. I have to tell you that it is yummy. Though let me warn you, this is not for people who can’t tolerate anything spicy. But once you have it, you will want more of it.
Kashmiri cuisine, like most of the Indian dishes, is full of flavour and spice. Their food is a tad too high on the spice factor. There used to be no chicken in the authentic Kashmiri cuisine and their dishes were mostly mutton and vegetables. However, with the passage of time, people started eating chicken and a lot of mutton recipes were converted to chicken recipes.
1 chicken cut into 8 or 12 pieces
10 to 12 whole dry Kashmiri red chillies
5 - 6 tablespoon oil
4 to 5 big cardamoms – crushed roughly
5 to 6 small cardamoms - crushed roughly
4 to 5 cloves
2 bay leaves
3 medium sized onions – finely chopped or ground
Salt to taste
1and a half teaspoon fennel powder
1 teaspoon dry ginger powder
3 green chillies - for garnishing
Boil the whole red chillies in water for about 5 minutes – till they become soft and grind it into a paste. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add cardamoms, bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon. Fry this for 1-2 minutes. To this add the onions and fry till brown and oil separates. Add the chicken pieces and salt and fry for about 5 to 6 minutes or till chicken is evenly browned.
Add the dry ginger powder and fennel powder and the prepared red chilli paste. Fry for about 2 -3 minutes. Add a cup of water and lower the heat. Cover this and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. This will let the chicken cook well and also for the gravy to thicken. Once the gravy is thick and the chicken well-cooked, garnish it with 3 green chillies slit into halves.
Serve hot with steamed rice or plain tawa rotis.