Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Chicken Salan

Salan is term used to describe a creamy curry. This recipe is currently my favourite Chicken curry recipe.

I first came across this recipe on Youtube. I have deviated from the original recipe by adding a tbsp of yoghurt to the curry while cooking it.

  •  Chicken preferably on bone without any skin. I prefer using the 825 gms of Tesco's Free Range Corn Fed Chicken drumstick and thighs
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 inch piece of root ginger, finely chopped
  • 2-4 green finger chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 0.5 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Garam masala
  • 1 tbsp yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing.
  • Salt to taste
  • Add the oil to a sauce pan and throw in the chopped onions. Mix them thoroughly and cover with a lid. Fry until the onions are dark brown.
  • Add a cup of water, mix and let it boil for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the dry spices, salt, garlic, ginger and chillies followed by the Chicken. Mix thoroughly, cover and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the yoghurt and the tomato purée. Replace the lid and cook for a further 7 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
  • Switch off the heat and add the coriander leaves.
  • Let it rest for about 5 minutes. 
Serve with bread, rice or rotis.

    Palak Paneer

    My mom was always concerned with my younger brother's diet after he developed patches on his skin which the doctor blamed on vitamin deficiency. She learnt of this recipe to make spinach, called Palak in Hindi,  from our Punjabi neighbors and she hoped he would like it. My brother never developed a liking for spinach, but I ended up loving it.

    This dish is very popular in British Indian Restaurants where it is sold as Saag Paneer. They tend to use finely chopped spinach here instead of puréed spinach which I like to use. I have always associated Palak Paneer with puréed spinach and that is how I like it.

    In this version I use Indian cottage cheese called Paneer. This is the usual cottage cheese which has been strained through muslin and cut into blocks. These are available in 200 gm packs at Tescos. I tend to use only half of it and freeze the rest to use at a later date. You could substitute it with peeled and boiled chunks of potatoes instead.


    • 500 grams of Spinach washed with the stems removed
    • 1 medium onion - chopped coarsely
    • 4 cloves of garlic 
    • 1 inch piece of ginger
    • 2 finger green chilies 
    • 2 Tomatoes - quartered
    • Paneer - Indian Cottage Cheese - cut into chunks
    • Vegetable oil - 2 tbsps
    • Salt to taste
    • Wash the spinach and let the water drain away. Transfer this to a saucepan, add a bit of salt and start the heat. The water on the leaf as a result of washing should be sufficient for boiling it. If you see the leaves burning, sprinkle a bit of water on them. The salt helps preserve the green colour. Do not cover the sauce pan. The leaves will shrivel down to a tiny fraction of the volume you started out with. Switch the heat off and leave it to cool. Once cooled, puree the spinach in a blender.
    • In another blender vessel add onions, garlic, ginger and the chilies and blend until you have a smooth paste.
    • Heat a sauce pan and add two tablespoons of oil to it.
    • Add the paste made earlier and fry until the raw taste of onion is no longer present. If the paste starts burning add a bit of water to it.
    • Add the quartered chunks of tomato to the pan and fry for a minute.
    • Add the pureed spinach, cover the pan and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
    • Add the chunks of paneer, cover the sauce pan and let it cook for another 3 minutes.
    • Once done, switch the heat off and let it rest for a few minutes.
    Serve with rice or rotis.

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