Tender pieces of chicken are cooked with the fresh fenugreek leaves; A winning combination for sure. This is one of those outrageously delicious chicken curries, which will make you mop your plate clean and ask for more.
Fenugreek/Methi is very common in Indian cooking. The leaves are used as herbs; the fresh leaves are cooked ( see Methi Dal & Methi Aloo) and the dried leaves which are popularly known as Kasoori methi are often used to flavor a lot of dishes (as used in the Malai Kofta). The Fenugreek/Methi seeds are used as a spice.
The popularity of the Fenugreek is not just for the numerous medicinal properties it has to offer.The methi/fenugreek seeds and the leaves are subtly bitter but offers a very strong unique and distinctive flavor to any recipe they are added to. The seeds and the leaves are used in a variety of dishes, ranging from bread, side dishes, lentils, Indian cheese, meat, as a herb for grilling and even in some desserts like laddoos.
I have used fresh leaves from my garden to cook the Methi Chicken. I had sprinkled the seeds sometimes early June and had a nice full grown plants by the end of July. If you are wondering what the leaves look like, I have a picture in the Methi Dal, which I had made from the fresh garden harvest.
I am going to be away hoping to relax and enjoy while you are reading this post. Will be back in a week….
Methi Murgh-Chicken Curry with Fenugreek Leaves
- 1.5 -2 lbs chicken thighs, skinless boneless – all fat trimmed and cubed into 2 inch pieces
- 3 green cardamom
- 2 cloves
- 1″ piece of cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1.5 medium onion, sliced
- 1″ piece of fresh ginger root
- 7 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup tomato paste + 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups fresh methi/fenugreek leaves, tender parts and leaves only – washed
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/6 cup oil
- 5 green chili pepper, or as per your taste
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon mace powder
Make a paste with yogurt and green chili pepper.
Marinate chicken with turmeric, salt, and green chili and yogurt paste for about 2 hours.
Make a puree of tomato paste, water, ginger and garlic.
Chop the methi/fenugreek leaves. In a thick bottomed (cast iron is the best) transfer the leaves and at medium-high heat cook the leaves while stirring until most of the moisture dries up. Drizzle some oil over the leaves and roast them at low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the leaves are fragrant and a shade darker. Set aside.
Heat oil in a thick bottomed deep pan. Add the cracked cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon. When they are fragrant (make sure they do not turn dark and burn) add the cumin seeds. When the seeds sizzle add the sliced onions and fry them for about 7-10 minutes at medium heat. Some of the onions will start to turn brown.
Add half of the fresh fenugreek leaves to the oil and stir fry for about 2 minutes. Remove the chicken from the marinade and add the chicken pieces to the pan. Save the marinade.
Cook the chicken while tossing them carefully till all the pieces are well coated with the onion mix in the pan – for about 10 minutes. If they stick to the bottom of the pan, just sprinkle some hot water and scrape them off.
Now add the tomato and ginger garlic paste. Cook uncovered at medium heat while stirring ocassionally till the chicken is almost cooked and oil starts to leave the sides of the pan. There will be not too much liquid left in the pan – just the sauce thick enough to coat the chicken pieces and the oil.
Now add the rest of the fenugreek leaves and the marinade that you had saved (yogurt and green chili paste) and 1/2 cup of water. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer at low heat for about 12-15 minutes or till the chicken is very tender but not falling apart.
Uncover and sprinkle the mace powder and stir to combine.
Serve hot with rice or flatbread.