Chicken kasoori methi is a lip-smacking chicken curry which is best served with paratha or naan. This korma style chicken kasoori methi has become our family obsession lately thanks to our new-found love which is nothing but kasoori methi!
Life is all about discovering new surprises and re-discovering old ones and get mesmerized with all the good things that life has to offer us. This was the exact thought that came into my mind when I made my chicken kasoori methi for the very first time. Trust me, I am not exaggerating my feeling at all. Some dishes make such significant mark on your taste buds that you can’t help but fall in love with it over and over again and same is the case with my chicken kasoori methi. This chicken kasoori methi is a korma style chicken curry recipe but honestly, that description does no justice to this dish! My chicken kasoori methi is a soul-stirring delicacy which you need to relish slowly, closing your eyes and adoring every moment of it like that melodious song of 90’s with classical music at the background. It is truly a royal affair. The creamy chicken kasoori methi curry has a unique taste of its own thanks to the miracle ingredient as well as our new-found love called kasoori methi!
Kasoori methi is nothing but dried fenugreek leaves and is a popular aromatic in North Indian cuisine. I was aware of it but wasn’t a frequent user until recently when I accidentally rediscovered the unique deliciousness it adds to any dish and particularly to this chicken kasoori methi. This is different from methi chicken which uses fresh methi i.e. fenugreek leaves and that tastes quite different from this chicken kasoori methi. Here the kasoori methi is added at the very end of the cooking process and you do not need to cook it any further; the remaining warmth of the curry will bring out all the flavors from the dried fenugreek leaves and infuse the korma style chicken curry with an outstanding aroma which is so unique to kasoori methi that you can never forget it neither can it be replicated with anything else.
You may be wondering why I am calling this chicken kasoori methi a korma style chicken curry. That is because this chicken curry has a thick and creamy gravy which is very similar to a classic chicken korma. A classic korma gravy is made of cashew or almond paste which adds a shine & silkiness to the dish; this chicken kasoori methi is dominantly flavored with kasoori methi and hence the name. Even though they look similar, classic chicken korma and this chicken kasoori methi are completely different in taste and flavor. The creamy gravy of chicken kasoori methi is prepared by the amalgamation of curd, cream and spices without adding any nuts. I used single cream which is sold as fresh cream in India; but if only double cream or whipping cream is what you get in your area, feel free to use it cutting down the quantity to half of what is mentioned in the recipe below. I personally like the cream-based chicken gravy which is another reason of me loving this chicken kasoori methi so dearly. Scooping up the rich and silky chicken gravy with a piece of butter naan seems another level of luxury!
After about a year, we finally filmed a recipe video! This video of chicken kasoori methi is our first filmed video after we moved in to our new apartment last year. As you see in the video, I do stir the chicken a lot during the cooking process and there are 2 reasons for it – firstly, I can’t sit still while my chicken curry is on fire and secondly, which is a more valid reason, to prevent the spices from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Plus, stirring ensures that all chicken pieces cook evenly as the stove flame does not heat all spots of the kadhai equally and when you stir, you keep moving the pieces which helps even cooking. The spices used in this chicken kasoori methi is very basic – haldi, jeera, dhaniya and laal mirch. So, it can’t get better than this! A restaurant style chicken curry made at home is the best way to enjoy good times with friends and family, isn’t it? So, what are you waiting for? Let get cooking!
- Chicken – 1 kg, curry cut
- Mustard oil – 6 tbsp (You may use any other oil of your choice too)
- Cloves – 6
- Green cardamom – 6
- Cinnamon – 1-inch piece, broken
- Dry red chili – 2
- Onion – 3, medium, thinly sliced
- Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
- Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
- Tomato paste – 2 tbsp (Add ¼ cup, if using tomato puree)
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 2 & ½ tsp
- Cumin powder – 1 tsp
- Kashmiri red chili powder – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Curd/yogurt – ½ cup, beaten until smooth & lump-free
- Fresh cream – ¼ cup (Add 2 tbsp, if using double cream)
- Kasoori methi – 2 tbsp
- Garam masala – ½ tsp
- Salt to taste
- Heat oil in a large kadhai. I used mustard oil but feel free to use any oil of your choice. Once the oil is hot, temper it with cloves, green cardamom, cinnamon stick and dry red chilies. Let them crackle for 30 seconds.
- Next add the thinly sliced onions and sauté them on medium flame until they turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the ginger paste and garlic paste and stir to mix well. Continue sautéing on medium flame for 10 more minutes or until the onions turn golden brown.
- Next add the tomato paste. It may be difficult to find tomato paste in some places; in that case add tomato puree. Cook it until the raw smell is gone, about 5 minutes. Also add sugar to balance the tartness of the tomato paste/puree.
- Now add the spices – turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and red chili powder. Add a splash of water and sauté the spices on low heat for 5 minutes or until oil starts to release.
- Now add the chicken pieces. A quick note here: I didn’t marinate my chicken as I was running short of time, but you can definitely do it if you wish to. After you wash and drain out all the water from chicken, you can marinate it with some salt and ginger-garlic paste and leave it for 30 minutes. However, it is not mandatory!
- Stir everything to coat the chicken pieces with the spice mix. Cook the chicken uncovered on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently in between. The chicken pieces will turn opaque and browned.
- Now add beaten curd. Make sure the curd is well-beaten and completely lump-free, otherwise it will split in the hot kadhai and you will not end up with a silky smooth gravy. Again, stir well to mix everything evenly.
- Season the chicken with salt to taste; if you have marinated your chicken earlier with salt, make sure to adjust that and not over-season it. Cover and cook the chicken for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally in-between. Chicken will release some water during this coking time.
- After about 10 minutes, uncover the pan and give a good stir. Check and adjust seasoning if needed. Then add about a cup of hot water to the kadhai and mix well. Cover and let it simmer on low for 5 minutes.
- After about 5 minutes, your chicken should be completely cooked through; if not continue cooking until done. Then add the fresh cream, mix well into the gravy and let it come to a boil.
- At this point, check the consistency of the chicken gravy; if it seems to be too thick, add little more water. Do note that as this chicken kasoori methi cools down, it becomes thicker; so, it’s better to keep it at a thinner side in the beginning.
- Finally, add the star ingredients i.e. kasoori methi and give a final good stir. Sprinkle garam masala and your chicken kasoori methi is ready to serve with paratha or butter naan! Enjoy!