I don’t always plan what to cook and shop thereafter. I usually do, because I love planning and making lists, and besides it’s so easy to do all the shopping on monday, and then you know what to make for dinner the rest of the week. And if you are really good, and have remembered everything, you can go straight home after work and start cooking the entire week! Higly recommended! But sometimes I buy things, simply because they are so appealing, because it’s season or for no reason whatsoever. That was the thing with the large pack of cilantro I bought a week ago. “Cilantro is good!” I thought, and picked it up. And it is, it just wasn’t part of my schedule this week, (I’m weird, I know) but since the weekend-dinners weren’t planned, yesterday I found out I could use it to make one of my favourite Indian dishes. Chicken with coriander and almonds, from the book “the food of INDIA” from murdoch books. It’s really tasty and uncomplicated to make. This dish more or less makes itself. But first you have to help it getting started.
1,5 kg chicken or chicken pieces
50 g almonds
4 garlic cloves
2 green chillies
5 cm piece of ginger
7 tablespoons oil
1,5 tablespoons ground coriander
1tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 tablespoon chilli powder
1/4 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons coriander leaves
170 ml single cream
If using a whole chicken, cut into eight pieces. That’s too much work for me, so I use the thighs, and also because that’s by far the best part.
Grind the almonds in a food processor, or chop with a knife as finely or rougly as you want. I like to have some bigger pieces, something to chew on, so I chop them more roughly.
Blend the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger in a good processor until finely chopped, but not puréed.
Heat the oil in a casserole over medium heat, add the onion mixture and stir until lightly browned. Add the chicken, and fry, turning constantly for 10 minutes or until golden.
Add the coriander, cumin, chilli powder, paprika salt and pepper to the pan, and stir for 3 minutes until well absorbed into the meat. Add 100 ml water, stirring the chicken for another 5 minutes over medium heat. The water will have reduced to a rich thick sauce. Add another 200 ml water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add three-quarters of the coriander and stir.
If the chicken is cooked through at this point, blend the almonds with 140 ml of the cream in a blender to form a smooth paste. Or don’t – I don’t always bother, it’ll be mixed anyway. Add to the chicken, stir well and cook until heated through. Stir in the remaining cream before serving, to create a creamy even sauce. You can also add raisins, if that’s your thing. It’s mine. I love the sweet soft raisins to contrast the spicy sauce and the crunch of the almonds. Almonds and raisins are regulars in all my Indian dishes. Sprinkle with lots of coriander, and serve with rice and chosen bread.