Chicken Masala Fry ~ Appetizer or Side Dish!

The upcoming week is going to be a very busy one for me. Not just because the Holy Week has officially begun today but also because I am expecting guests who will be with us to celebrate Easter this year. I am really looking forward to having family over. Although I had planned many posts for Easter I am hardly able to steal sometime to do full justice to them so I guess I will roll them out one by one after the extended festivities end. Hopefully this week I will post another couple of recipes before Maundy Thursday after which I will be super busy at home and at the church. 

Today I suddenly decided to take the plunge and post a recipe before I go into hiberantion. I don't have much to type as my mind is currently on the pile of unfinished chores waiting for me, so let me jump straight to the recipe. Since I love bookmarking chicken recipes this one has been on my to-do list for a while. However, I wasn't really convinced whether the final result would be good enough to blog about but I was taken by surprise. Not only was this recipe different in its method it was damn delicious! The caramelised onions really added a unique flavour to the final dish. I only wish I had used spicier chillies but I guess if you stick to my recipe and the way I made it it is most suitable for people of all ages, especially little ones who can't take a lot of spice

You could try making this dish as an appetizer with boneless meat but I personally think that meat on the bone always tastes the best, especially when it is fried and you get to spend enjoyable minutes munching on the bones. Anyway, you can still go ahead and make it with boneless meat. Serve it as an appetizer with toothpicks inserted into each chunk or as an accompaniment to alcoholic drinks or as a side dish to your meal - tastes amazing anyway! 

If I am unable to post another recipe before Easter, please accept my wishes for a blessed Holy Week and a wonderful Easter! 

Chicken Masala Fry
Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 25-30 mins | Serves 4

For the masala:
1. Cut the chicken into medium sized pieces, wash and allow to drain (or pat dry). Apply salt to taste and keep aside till required
2. Grind all the ingredients mentioned under 'For the masala' to a fine paste - to do this, first grind the dry ingredients (chillies, peppercorns, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and cloves) to a fine powder using the chutney jar of your mixer grinder (if using). Then add the roughly chopped onions and tamarind and grind without adding any water - the moisture in the onions is sufficient to grind the mixture to a smooth, fine paste. If you must, add water sparingly (about 1-2 teaspoons at a time).
3. Transfer the ground paste into a heavy based pan. Rinse the mixie jar with approx 1/2 - 3/4th cup of water and add this to the pan as well (you should get a thick masala and not a watery gravy as the chicken will release some stock as well). Add the chicken pieces, mix and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until the chicken is tender and the masala has thickened up (enough to coat the pieces with a thick paste). Remove from heat and keep aside.
4. In a wide, heavy based pan/kadhai/wok heat the ghee and fry the finely chopped onions until they turn golden brown (keep an eye out as they will burn quickly after this stage). Add the chicken pieces along with the thick gravy and fry on a medium high heat until the masala dries up and the colour changes to a deep red/maroon. Check taste and add the lime juice if required and also adjust the salt too if its required.
5. Remove from heat and serve hot, garnished with chopped coriander if required. You can serve this chicken as a starter along with drinks ('sakne'/'chakna') or as an accompaniment to chapathis, dosa or rice

Recipe adapted from: J.B Lobo's Home Encyclopedia

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