Serves 4 as a main dish
Pasanda is another dish from the famed Mughal-era, when dishes were rich and luxurious. Traditionally the dish is cooked with goat or lamb meat that is flattened, marinated then cooked in aromatic spices. This recipe uses chicken. Using a whole chicken breast makes a nice change from the bite-sized chunks found in most curry dishes and no-one can dispute that the yoghurt, nuts and pepper combination create a dish worthy of the famous royal courts from the 17th century.
What you need…
• 4 chicken breasts
• 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
• 3 Tablespoons ghee
• 2 cardamons, cracked
• 2 cloves
• 1 cinnamon stick 5cm long
• 1 onion, pureed
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 1 teaspoon cream
• 3 Tablespoons roasted sliced almonds (crush up 2 Tablespoons to be added to the curry and keep 1 Tablespoon for garnish)
• Salt to taste
• Few coriander leaves for garnish
• 150g yoghurt
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 1.5 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 0.5 teaspoon salt
How to make it…
1. Use a meat tenderiser or roller to flatten the chicken breasts so they are as even in thickness as possible (but don’t beat it to a pulp!).
2. Rub the lemon juice on the chicken breasts and leave for 15 minutes. This will remove the grease so the chicken absorbs the marinade fully.
3. Mix all the marinade ingredients well and cover the chicken breasts. Leave for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
4. Remove the chicken breasts and shake off the excess marinade.
5. Heat the ghee to a medium heat and fry the chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side. Set aside. Add the cardamons, cloves and cinnamon stick to the pan and fry for 30 seconds.
6. Add the rest of the ghee to the pan, then add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.
7. Add the garlic paste and ginger paste and cook for 2 minutes.
8. Add the rest of the marinade, the crushed almonds and salt, and when everything has mixed fully add the chicken, cover the pan and cook gently until the chicken breasts are cooked through fully.
9. Garnish with almonds and coriander, then add the cream on top in a swirl just before serving.
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