Yesterday evening was like any other evening, dull and quiet and as I plonked on to my beanbag in a posture no doctor would recommend, with a book in my hand pretending to read. It had been a long and a pretty tiring day. It was one of those days where you feel as if you were on a treadmill; you kept walking but reached nowhere. The need of the hour was to do something to lift my spirits. The experiences of last couple of years have taught me that being happy is not an end, but a process. And like any process, it can be worked upon. The formula is simple. Pursue those activities ‘ruthlessly’ which you enjoy doing. This will distract your mind from all your painful or negative emotions.
So the thought of cooking this strange sounding chicken called ‘Hyderabadi Lagan ka Murg,’ struck me. Cooking these days is my stress buster. (Writing this blog has been another, but more of that later). I have discovered that the heat of the kitchen, the smell and fragrance of the spluttering spices in oil/ghee, the changing shapes of the veggies and fowls/meat in the wok have a kind of therapeutic effect on me. So yours truly headed straight into the kitchen virtually taking it over much to the chagrin of my help. He is an old cooking aficionado and does not take kindly to yours truly, whom he believes to be a neo-convert and whose love for cooking in his eyes are nothing but a passing fad.
The Hyderabadi Lagan Murg took about an hour to cook. As it was getting cooked, the aroma of spices lifted in the air, elevating my mood too. Yes, you can be happy if you work at it.
The best part of course was the wholehearted approval of the dish, both by the old cooking hand and the high-command!!!
So here goes the recipe of the “Hyderabadi Lagan ka Murg”. Try it, and if you like it, leave a comment.
- Chicken: 1 kg
- Onions: 4 medium size diced
- Ginger garlic paste: 2 tsp
- Tomato: 2 medium size diced
- Kashmiri Degi Mirch (Kashmiri red chilly powder/red chilly powder): 1 tsp
- Coriander powder: 1 tsp
- Cumin powder: 1 tsp
- Green Chillies: 5-6 (moderate on how spicy you want)
- Oil/Ghee: Half a cup
- Curd: 1 cup
- Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
- Milk: 1 cup
- Poppy seeds: 2 tsp
- Cashwenuts: 5-6
- Pistachio: 10
- Coconut powder: 1/3 cup
- Salt: To taste
1. In a flat pan roast cashew, pistachio, poppy seeds over low heat. When they turn slightly brown, remove them from heat. Allow it to cool and then mix these in a cup of milk and blend it into a fine paste in a blender. Your Hyderabadi Lagan paste is ready. Keep it aside.
2. Heat a thick bottomed kadhai/wok. Add oil/ghee. After the oil gets heated, add the diced onions and fry till golden brown. Take out one fourth to use as garnish in the end. Add ginger garlic paste, diced tomatoes, the Hyderabadi lagan paste, garam masala, Kashmiri chilly powder, green chillies, cumin powder and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Now add chicken, salt and curd and mix well by stirring.
3. Cook on a low flame till all the water dries and oil separates. When the ghee/oil floats on the top, then your chicken is done.
4. Sprinkle fresh green coriander leaves and serve hot.
The Hyderbadi Lagan Murg goes best with Parathas. Yesterday however tried it with Roomali Roti and it turned out to be a great combination. How would you like to enjoy it?
PS: To enhance your cooking experience in the heat of the kitchen in this summer of soaring temperatures, I suggest that you keep a chilled bottle of Heineken beer by your side and keep sipping it. I finished two pints as I cooked and let me assure you, it felt great!!!