During last couple of years, I have not been as focused and regular on my blog as I should have been. I am also guilty of not being as interactive as I was earlier. Instead, I was giving more time and putting my energy more on my Instagram account (which I had earlier never been regular on). The thought was to reach out to a larger number of like-minded people/ bloggers/ instagramers/ foodies out there and interact with a wider audience. However, joining the bandwagon late and with some major changes in Instagram algorithm, there was not much traffic coming my way in relation to the effort that was going in, on that platform. I found IG way more demanding than running a blog & it
requires demands constant focus and continuous effort. And given my health, it was not possible for me to give my hundred percent. 2018 was a challenging year for me on health front. I intend to spend more time, effort and focus on my health this year.
Hats off to all those who post nearly everyday and share so much not just on their IG wall but also on their IG stories. I am truly in awe of each one of them for their passion and commitment. I can’t even begin to imagine the kind of effort, the amount of time and energy that they are investing in their work. There are so many amazing bloggers and instagramers out there who are doing really fab work & enjoying it and doing really great for themselves. More power to them 😊 I found it hard to be constantly out there. After having reached a point where I was questioning myself regarding the effort I was putting in, I decided to retrace my steps and ease my pace. I reminded myself of the reason why I had started blogging in the very first place. The accolades that came along were like blessings and at times they pleasantly surprised me! They did encourage and motivate me to step out of my comfort zone. And I am so thankful to God for that.
Having said that, for those couple of years, while I was regular on Insta, I came across some extremely passionate and immensely talented instagramers, bloggers & foodies. Most of them happen to be fabulous food photographers as well. Their photography skills are as fab as their food. Some of my favorites among the many accounts (Indian) who fall under the category of ‘great food and great photography’ are – Cupcakeree (for really simple yet delicious & healthy recipes…most are gluten free and many are vegan), Dolphi.nandi (a refreshingly candid and immensely talented young photographer), Passionateaboutbaking (a fab food photographer and an equally fab stylist and baker…call her an artist if you may), Tashasartisanfood (wonderful recipes and a warm friendly persona), Abitwholesomely (I really like her simplistic yet artistic approach to food and photography), Delusciousbites (totally love her dark moody pics), Acupcakeforlove (everything about her account is fabulous – there is a versatility in everything on her account, from food to styling to photography), Foodfashionparty (her account has an extremely diverse range of recipes and she is a published author of the book Masala and Meatballs). And of course there is Tina of Loveisinmytummy (who shares lovely easy vegan recipes and her photography & her understand of light is totally on point). Last but not the least is Lapetitchef (who seems to work tirelessly, juggling her blog, social media accounts, home, raising a young kid, professional commitments and seems to be doing justice to all of them! Hats off girl!) I highly recommend following these accounts in case you are interested in fabulous food and all things sundry related to food. You won’t be disappointed I promise.
Okay, time now to move on to today’s post. The recipe for this chicken was shared by a colleague of my husband (His wife apparently got the recipe from somewhere on the net. Credit to the person who created this recipe) and it is unique in certain ways. The most interesting part of this curry recipe is its rather unusual method of marination. It uses the dhungar technique which is a Rajasthani technique of smoking a dish where (any) dish is smoked using hot charcoal that has been drizzled with some ghee.
My husband is the kind who believes in enjoying his meal and not bother about how it was cooked. He does not even try to know what all went into his favorite dish. He is more than happy lapping up his favorite meal/ dish and a recipe for any dish is least of his concern probably because he can’t cook to save his life. But this one time it was different. You can imagine my utter surprise when I saw a recipe coming from him in my Watsapp message telling me how a colleague of his had brought this chicken curry for the team and how fabulous it was. It was evident from the fact that he asked him for the recipe, that the dish was something special and definitely worthy of a trial and probably for keeps. He could not stop raving about it for days. And a few weeks back I finally got to cook it for him. Although I no longer eat non veg food, yet I could make out from the appearance and aromas emanating from the chicken that it was finger licking good.
The marination is rich and the curry should be reserved for special occasions. It would be a great serve for the parties too. It is certainly not your ‘everyday curry’ kind of dish; proceed to the recipe and you will know why I say that. The smoky taste is what makes this curry unique and is basically its USP. So, before you plan on making this curry, ensure you have couple of coal pieces ready on hands for smoking the dish. Really worth a try.
900 gm / 1 skinless Chicken (on bones), cut in 10 to 12 pieces
200 gm unflavored Yogurt (i used home-made)
200 gm Cream
1 tsp Kasoori Methi
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Chaat Masala
2 tsp Lemon Juice
½ tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
¾ tsp crushed Black Pepper
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil (adjust as required)
FOR SMOKING THE CHICKEN
A small piece of Charcoal
½ tsp – 1 tsp melted Desi ghee (depending on how big the charcoal piece is)
Before we begin with the recipe, the first and the foremost thing is to ensure that you have a bowl (to marinate the chicken) that has a lid or a plate that can cover it well.
In a pan or a skillet, dry roast the kasoori methi for a few seconds or till it begins to change color. Remove from heat and the pan and powder it.
Clean the chicken and remove excess fat. Make deep slits in the chicken pieces.
Take a mixing bowl (in which the chicken will be kept for marination) and add all ingredients under ‘marination’ heading, except oil. Mix everything really well. Add chicken pieces and mix well again. Ensure that the marination goes right inside the slits.
Take a small steel bowl and place it in the centre of the mixing bowl (in which we have marinated the chicken).
Take a small piece of charcoal and heat it till it becomes red hot (It will take over 5 – 7 minutes, depending how small or big the piece of charcoal is). Using tongs, transfer it inside the steel bowl. Carefully pour half a teaspoon of melted ghee over the hot charcoal.
The charcoal will begin to profusely smoke. Quickly cover the mixing bowl with a lid and allow the chicken to marinate in the smoke filled bowl for at least 45 minutes.
Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Remove all excess marinade from the chicken pieces and shallow fry the pieces, in batches, till they begin to get some color (light brown) and are tender and cooked through. Remove the chicken pieces in a bowl.
Pour the marinade into the same pan, in which you cooked the chicken. Cook the marinade, on medium low heat, till it changes color to light brown and leaves oil around the edges of the pan.
Add the chicken pieces to the cooked marinade / gravy and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes. (Add a little water if required)
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with flatbread of your choice.
Serves – 4 to 6
Thanks for visiting and see you soon again with another exciting post!