How are we doing getting over the almost weekend crisis? Dr. A has been traveling a lot - like a lot - past few weeks and I have been going crazy balancing kids, work, and handling the freezing rains. Ugh. I strongly dislike freezing rains - people who know me know that I am not a huge fan of cold weather in general, but I can still handle snow - not freezing rain. It makes me nervous and scared. You know what the good part is that it is almost March, which means spring is close by, so we rejoice. Today we rejoice by celebrating with this easy chicken recipe that is warm and comforting.
Dhania chicken translates literally into coriander (or cilantro) chicken. It is a delicious chicken curry with sweet and sour undertones. I remember having this chicken at a friend’s house and I have based my recipe of coriander chicken on what my taste buds recall. Addition of panch phoren – a traditional Bengali mix of five whole spices – fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, nigella seeds, and cumin adds a unique flavor that is unlike any other. I have used carraway seeds or ajwain instead of cumin as it adds more flavor to this recipe (in my opinion). Ajwain is also a great digestive agent. Lots of fresh coriander (cilantro) is, of course, the star of this dish made with masala of onions and tomatoes.
Marinating the chicken is not required but I would strongly recommend it. I used boneless skinless chicken breasts, however, thighs are my absolute first choice. I just happened to have boneless skinless chicken breasts on hand the day I cooked this curry. You can surely make this with bone-in chicken but you will have to adjust the cooking times accordingly.
Dhaniya Chicken - Indian Spiced Coriander Chicken
- 1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 2 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
- 2 Teaspoon Ginger Paste.
- 1 Teaspoon Green Chili Paste. optional
- 1 Tablespoon Lime juice
Grind to a paste
- 1 Cup Chopped Coriander/Cilantro Greens Stems and Leaves
- 2 Tomatoes
- 1 Teaspoon each Mustard seeds, Nigella seeds (Kalaunji), Fenugreek seeds (Methe), Carraway seeds (Ajwain), Fennel seeds (saunf)
- 1 White Onion Chopped
- ½ Teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 Teaspoon Sugar
- 2 Tablespoon Oil preferably mustard oil
- Salt To taste
- 1 Cup Water or as needed
- Marinate the chicken in marinade ingredients for at least an hour. The longer the better.
- Set a heavy bottomed pan on medium high heat and add a tablespoon of oil to it. If using mustard oil, first heat it to smoke point and let cool. Add the marinated chicken to the hot pan and sear for about 3-4 minutes each side. Take the chicken out in a bowl, cover and set aside.
- In the same pan, add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and add the panch phoren seeds. As the seeds start to splutter, move them to one edge of the pan and add sugar to the other side of the pan and let it caramelize, about a minute. Now add the chopped onions. Add turmeric and a pinch of salt and cook till onions turn light golden, about 7-8 minutes. Scrape any bits of chicken that are sticking to the bottom of the pan and mix them with the onions.
- Add the coriander and tomato paste, and cook (bhoono) on medium low heat till you can see tiny droplets of oil appearing on the sides of your masala and all the moisture has evaporated.
- While the masala is bhoonoing, cut the chicken into bite size pieces and return to the bowl with all the juices.
- Add the chopped chicken to the masala, turn the heat up to medium high, add salt and give everything a big mix. Add about half a cup of water, bring the curry to a boil and reduce heat. Cover the pan and cook until the chicken is done, about 8 minutes. Check and adjust the consistency of the curry by adding more water if you like. If adding more water, bring the curry to a roaring boil again. Check and adjust salt.
I hope you give this easy chicken recipe a try. Enjoy!
Love - Vaishali.
Feel free to use your choice of chicken parts - boneless skinless thighs work great. You can also use bone-in chicken. Adjust cooking times accordingly.
That 1 teaspoon of sugar adds a slightly sweet touch which is a very important flavor component of this dish.
Heavy/ Nonstick Pan with lid (I used this one)
Blender (My KitchenAid)
Knife and chopping board
Mixing bowl to marinate chicken