Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rich and Creamy Saffron Chicken {Murg Nawabi}


Often I have come across single parents and it always gets me thinking, “How the hell do they manage?”  I am not a single parent.  On the contrary, I have a very loving and caring husband who shares all responsibilities of a father and helps in every way possible to bringing up our children.  Of course when either of us go away on business trips, that is when we have to step into the shoes of a single parent and realize what a difficult job it is to raise children on our own.  I think for me the worst is in the evenings when the children go to bed and you have no adult to talk to.  And the amount of patience you need to muster to deal with the 1000 questions that are all directed to just you in the absence of the other parent. 

I came to realize that single parents need a very strong support system they can rely on.  The immediate family would be paramount in making this support system work.  We do not have our immediate family here – so when the children got sick or had an unexpected holiday, one of us had to stay back at home with them.  I always envied those who could call on their parents or their sisters on such occasions.  I think in instances like this you realize how important family is – sometimes you find nuts too – but still a family.

Preparation Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6


1 medium sized chicken
2 red onions
1” ginger
12 cloves garlic
1 dried red chilli
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
7 cloves
1” cinnamon
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
3 green cardamoms
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons yoghurt
4 tablespoons cream
A pinch of saffron
1 tablespoon hot milk
1 tablespoon coriander leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ cup hot water
Salt to taste


  1. Cut the chicken into eight pieces and keep aside.  
  2. Soak  the saffron in hot milk and keep aside.
  3. Grind the ginger and garlic into a paste and keep aside.  
  4. Chop the onions finely and keep aside.  
  5. Lightly roast the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, poppy seeds, dried red chillies and cumin and grind to a powder along with the turmeric powder.  Keep aside.  
  6. Soak the saffron in the hot milk and keep aside.  
  7. Heat butter in a thick bottomed vessel.  
  8. When hot, add the chopped onions and fry till golden in colour.  
  9. Now add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for another two minutes.  
  10. Now add the bay leaves and the ground spices to the onions.  Fry for another five minutes on a low flame and then add the chicken pieces.  
  11. Fry till the chicken changes colour. 
  12. Add ¼ cup of hot water to the vessel and cover and cook on low flame for another 20 minutes or till the chicken is cooked. 
  13. Now add the salt and the yoghurt and mix well.  
  14. When it boils, add the cream, saffron milk and turn off the fire.  
  15. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or bread.

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