Cooking in a spell... Badami Moorg (chicken in almond sauce)

K has a bad cold, bad throat and the occasional shot of fever. I thought I will make her a bland chicken curry for lunch. I put the oil in the pan, added bay leaves and cumin seeds when I saw a pack of almonds from the Diwali boxes.

From then on I was in a spell. I opened the pack of almonds and asked Banu to grind half in the food processor. Then without thinking I reached for the milk in the fridge. I pushed aside the tomato that Banu had ground for the curry. And the turmeric powder which was going to be the hero of my original curry. "It has to be brown" a voice said in my mind. "Think Coastal" the voice said as I barked "curry patta (leaves)" to Banu like a surgeon to a nurse. The net result? K's eyes lit up just as she had given up on any chance of convalescent food tasting good.

So here's the recipe of my very own Badami Moorg before I forget. Some are deviations based on hindsight and the fact that I was initially cooking something else.

Prep: Grind 50 g of almonds in a processor and then blend in 250 m of milk in the processor
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pressure pan. I use olive oil
  • Add a teaspoon of mustard seeds and curry leaves and wait till this crackles
  • Add 4 tablespoons of freshly ground onions or shallots
  • Let this brown. Add a tablespoon each of ginger and garlic pastes. Let this brown.
  • Add a kilo of chicken and two potatoes, halved
  • Add a tablespoon each of coriander and cumin powder, a teaspoon each of sugar and black pepper powder and salt
  • Stir till chicken takes on the colour of the spices and loses its pinkness
  • Add milk and almond mix and let the sauce boil
  • Add a tablespoon of whole garam masala
  • Close pressure pan. Keep flame on high and wait for 3 whistles. 
  • Then let it simmer for ten minutes
  • Switch off the gas and don't open the cooker's lid. Let the chicken cook in its own steam
  • The end result is a really creamy chicken dish, exploding with flavours with potatoes as soft as a chubby baby's cheeks. Add red chillies or green chillies in the beginning if your wife doesn't have a bad throat. 
  • I ate this with plane rice. K had it with roti. Both worked pretty well.