Murg Kadha masala is an awesome recipe where the chicken pieces are cooked in yogurt and then fried coated with crushed whole spices. It is actually a very rustic way of cooking, makes the dish very flavourful and goes well with naan, roti or paratha. Khada masala means whole spices and the dish is excellent spiced up with fresh spices. It’s a very simple Indian dish as cooked chicken is added to the crushed spices mix and fried nicely so that the chicken gets coated well keeping the spice mellowed.
This is a dry chicken dish without any gravy or curry to it. As the chicken is cooked before itself, the inner part of the chicken is not spicy. It’s only that the chicken is encrusted well with the crushed spices. The success to this dish is the magical treat of spices used which is bliss to the palate. Khada masala Indian cuisine is very popular for its wide use of aromatic spices used. Often at home, we have a variety of spices lying in our kitchens but the key is to understand the spice and how it changes the taste of your dish.
Spices could either make your dish fiery or mildly spiced depending when you actually add them. We need to play with the spices to bring out the right flavour and aroma into the dish. The Khada masala or freshly crushed hot spices is a combination of spices and is generally used at the end of cooking to add a subtle spicy flavour and aroma to a dish. Here you can be flexible in either adding in the beginning of the preparing the dish or adding towards the end.
Spices are the perfect partner to any dish and when they are slightly roasted, this helps the spice release and intensifies its essence and aroma. Khada masala is an exceptional mix of some aromatic cardamom, strong pungent cloves, sweet cinnamon, flavourful star anise, smoky cumin seeds, crushed lemony coriander seeds, crushed fiery peppercorns, pungent hot flavour ginger and garlic; spiced with red chillies and green chillies that go into making the Murg Kadha Masala. All these spices compliment well with each other.
Magic of Spices:
Indian food is mostly praised and priced only for the spices used in the diversified variety of Indian foods. Spices are the key ingredients in the Indian cuisine that enriches the food to a great extent.
Some of the common and popular spices that create magic to the dishes are:
Red chillies commonly known as Lal mirch adds hot flavour to food and some variety of chillies give an amazing red colour to the dish such as the Kashmiri red chilli. Cayenne pepper or red chilli is used to provide the heat for many spicy dishes.
These seeds come from the parsley family, are oval in shape with ridges, have a nutty aroma and taste a slight bitter but not hot. They are used to flavour rice, stuffed vegetables, many savoury dishes and curries. It combines well with cilantro and is widely used in beef dishes. Fibre content in these seeds has anti fungal and laxative properties. Cumin also helps in fighting flu, cures anemia and digestive disorders.
Commonly known as Dhaniya, a member of parsley family! This spice tastes sweet and tangy with a citrus flavour tinge. Coriander is also used in fish and savoury dishes as a healthy alternative to salt, and it is basic ingredient of curry powder.
So called Elaichi seeds of a tropical fruit from the ginger family! The fruits and seeds leave a pleasant aroma with sweet, pungent taste behind when chewed. Cardamom has a sweet, lemony, eucalyptus flavour and is considered the world's second most expensive spice. It is one of India's favourite and versatile spices, used in sweet and savoury dishes.
It is often used to flavour tea (Green cardamom Tea/ Chai) and also is great with black coffee. The seeds are aromatic, sweet cooling, carminative (cures flatulence), digestive, stimulant and tonic.
Cloves or lavang is a small, dried brown flower bud of the tropical evergreen tree of the myrtle family. They have strong, sweet and hot aroma, pungent in taste. They have been used in India for thousands of years, not only in cooking, but to sweeten the breath and to relieve the pain of toothache. They are frequently used to flavour meat dishes, curries, and soups.
Popularly known as Dalchini – it is the dried bark of various laurel trees from the cinnamomun family. It is a sweet tasting spice and woody aroma. When ground, the flavour becomes stronger and is often used in cakes (cinnamon cookies), sweet dishes, fruit pies (especially apples). It can also be used in more piquant dishes, such as curries, and combines perfectly with chicken.
Star anise is dark-brown in colour with eight segments and has a sweetish licorice taste that adds a lovely flavour to the dish. Besides, its culinary use, star anise also has health benefits.
Kali Mirchi, the Hindi name of peppercorns has a pungent, woody aroma, hot and biting taste. The black peppercorns are more aromatic is used for various savoury dishes (Paneer butter pepper fry).
Ginger & Garlic:
Ginger or Adrak has a sweet aroma and hot, pungent taste. The ginger is hard and woody, yellow and fibrous. It is easiest to cook with, once peeled and grated. Ginger makes a tasty paste, especially if mixed with garlic. Ginger can be used in sweet dishes, desserts, or in piquant dishes such as hot curries and stir fries (Ginger Chicken).
The ginger powder is used in baking. Garlic or Lahsun is closely related to the onion and has a powerful pungent or hot flavour when raw and mellows when cooked. Garlic is used as a condiment and as flavouring in gravies, sauces, soups, stew, pickles (garlic pickle), salads and breads (garlic bread).
Garlic helps to purify the blood and lower blood pressure. These are few of the colourful spices that make your food tasty and add variety to it. Just addition of one spice can bring tremendous change in the taste of the dish. Using these would not only make the food delicious and aromatic but reaps in maximum health benefit too.
Every spice in our kitchen has a unique taste and completes the dish as only salt cannot do magic to satisfy our taste buds. Murg Kadha Masala is an exotic dish where elegance is wrapped all over this chicken. Makes an excellent party dish also!
Do try without fail and enjoy its striking flavours.
How to make Murg Kadha Masala Ingredients:
Chicken - 1 kg
Butter - 2 tbsp
Coriander, chopped - 1 bunch
Garlic - 5 nos
Ginger, chopped - 1 tbsp
Cardamom - 2 nos
Cinnamon - 3 sticks
Cloves - 3 nos
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
Pepper corns - 1 tsp
Kasoori methi - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 2 nos
Red chilli flakes - 1 tsp
Shah jeera - 1 tsp
Star anise - 1 no
Bell pepper, cubes - ½ cup
Onion, cubes - ½ cup
Tomato - 2 nos
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Turmeric - ¼ tsp
Yogurt - 1 cup
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Take a pan, add some water, turmeric, salt, yogurt and mix. Add chicken and cook till the chicken is tender. Once it comes to a boil, simmer the flame and cook for 5 minutes or till the water gets evaporated.
Crush some cardamom, clove, cinnamon, star anise, shah jeera, ginger, garlic, crushed coriander seeds and peppercorns and keep aside.
Heat a pan and add the crushed spices, butter, a little oil, red chilli, kasoori methi, red chilli flakes, salt, green chillies, cubes of onions, bell pepper, garam masala and sauté the ingredients well.
Add chopped tomato, boiled chicken and toss them until the chicken is nicely simmered with spices all around.
Switch off the flame, add chopped coriander leaves, lemon juice and toss. Serve hot with naan, roti or chapatti. Murg Kadha Masala is rustic, aromatic, bursting out with flavours and eye appealing dish.
Watch the video and do try making this recipe.