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PALAK MURG: CHICKEN IN A SPINACH CURRY

I could start off ranting how Palak Murg could be a very good idea, to mix your greens and proteins and so on and so forth. But the chilly weather this afternoon, is making me sulk a bit.

Whenever its the beginning of the cold days, the mind is not too happy. It takes me a few days, to get adjusted since I made my home in the Midwest. When I am not in the best of my moods, my mind goes on a re-wind track. I know, I am supposed to be very positive and always happy, but the mind cannot help but wander into some sour by lanes. One such sour by lane being, yes, who else ,but THEM.

I am sure its a known fact by now, how my ILs and myself feel about each other. Well, too many incidents which highlight the sour and totally absent sweet relationship we share. As I was preparing dinner a few nights back, the ingredients and the dish in question itself, refreshed my memory more so in  this regard. PALAK MURG(Chicken cooked in a  Spinach Curry) has always been one of my signature dishes, at many get togethers, during my Delhi days. I had no clue that Hubby had bragged about this dish to his family as well. And that this bragging would manifest itself in a not so pleasing way for me, right after the big fat Bong Wedding.

It was a day after our reception, and we were super busy. Packing our bags, opening all the Tatwa trays which had been a part of my Phulshojjer Tatwa and what not. It was a mad rush, as we had very less time in our hands. Our flight was in exactly three days. Hubby and myself were almost like headless chicken running around, trying to get everything done. The airlines had changed our itinerary,which meant we also had to go and pick up our new tickets. Just when we were in the thick of things, MIL made her presence felt in our room. In her usual cold self (I have never seen her smile), she announced that I needed to cook lunch, as it was a custom apparently. Had I not already made some food, in the morning of our reception, the customary Bou Bhat. Seemed like that was not enough to please these heartless souls. Hubby mumbled under his breath, so much for customs. I knew I had to leave all the work at hand, and get it done. Cooking under a short notice, well, that does not deter me. Maybe the lady concerned, or the ladies concerned had little clue about it. What irritated me was that it was almost noon.Yes, almost noon. They had chosen this time to let me know I need to fix lunch for 20 odd people. No, I am not exaggerating. Hubby's family houses too many relatives on an every day basis, and come any vacations or occasions, an even bigger clan descends under the same roof. As I descended to the floor below, I was thinking, as to what I will make, at such a short notice. When I reached the kitchen, my eyes were open wide. There were literally almost a dozen or so bunches of Spinach on the kitchen counter and did I just see some raw Poultry as well. Hubby had bragged a bit too much, I guess.

It was almost like Kitchen Stadium and I felt like Iron Chef myself, who had just been the mystery ingredients. Imagining myself as a combo of Iron Chef Cat Cora and Iron Chef Bobby Flay, was a good idea. Helped me sail through. But where be my Sous Chefs, as it happens in Kitchen Stadium. There were none.Maybe I forgot to mention that the domestic help, who could have been my Sous Chef, had been given an afternoon off, strategically. "Too filmy," my Bestie, said,when she heard of it. Isn't it !

Lunch was served and was lapped up by the gang without even a word of appreciation. Why was I even expecting. Poor Hubby had to bear the brunt of whatever was on my mind, post lunch, for sure. The man quietly took it all in.

So whenever I make Palak Murg after that Iron Chef like experience, I smile a wry smile to myself.



PALAK MURG: CHICKEN COOKED IN A SPINACH CURRY

Ingredients: 
Chicken: 1 whole: Skinned and cut into medium sized pieces
Onion: 1 large: Grated
Garlic: 4-5 large cloves: Minced
Coriander Powder: 1 1/2 tbsp
Red Chili Powder: 1 tsp (adjust it accordingly, as some green chilies also go into this dish)
Spinach: 1 lb(cleaned)
Canola Oil: 4-5 tbsp
Salt: To taste
Green Chilies: 2-3
Tomato Ketchup: 2 tbsp (as I did not have fresh tomatoes)

Procedure:
Blanch the Spinach for a few minutes, till they wilt.




Strain the wilted spinach and discard the water. Blend the blanched spinach along with a few green chilies and keep aside. Meanwhile, in a deep pan, add canola oil and fry the onion till it starts to change color. Add the minced garlic and cook it for a minutes. Make sure that the masala does not get burnt.


Add in the dry spices and mix well. Fry them for a minutes, till you can see the oil leaving the sides of the pan. If you feel the masala can get burnt, add in a few splashes of water. Mix in the tomato Ketchup or if you have chopped fresh tomatoes and mix well.




The Chicken pieces go in next. Mix well so that the masala coats the chicken pieces well. Cover and cook till the chicken is almost half done. Keep stirring frequently. Do not add water. The protein will be releasing some water, and some moisture will be generated from cooking it covered.


Once the Chicken is half cooked, add in the spinach paste, and mix well. Season with salt. and continue to cover and cook. Make sure that you keep stirring it infrequently so that it does not stick to the pan.


Spinach tends to release some water as well. So if you feel that dish has become too watery, then cook uncovered. But as this concoction comes to a boil and if you are cooking it uncovered, it makes a mess on the stove top.


When the chicken is cooked, make sure that the gravy is not too runny. Cook uncovered for some time more, if you need to. Check for seasonings and dig in.



I serve Palak Murg with some hot rotis. Or if you have Pita bread at home, it goes fine with that too. Dunk in your bread and enjoy !

Bon Appetit !!! 

3 comments

  1. Love the color of the gravy. I've been meaning to make this for a while. Thanks for the recipe.

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  2. Am so glad that you liked it !!! Bon Appetit !!!

    ReplyDelete