Sunday 20 October 2019

Saoji Chicken Curry

Halba Kosti Tribes from Madhaya Pradesh, who are weavers by professions came to Vidharba region of Maharastra Nagpur and  settled there. They settled in large numbers and took up job at Empress Mill. They introduced Saoji Cuisine, their cuisine is fiery hot and spicy that needs an acquired taste.  It’s the unique spice blend that makes the difference, it’s is slow cooked and linseed oil is used in the authentic recipe. Each house adds their twist to the spices.  The recipes are closed guarded secret to each family. In 70s the first Saoji joint was opened in Nagpur, there after now many restaurants have opened selling Saoji Cuisine. They are mainly non vegetarian having mutton, chicken, fish. The cuisine is now known to the world by word of mouth. 

For Saoji Masala 
2 tbsp Coriander seeds 
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Shahi Jeera 
8 Dry Red Patna Chillies  
8 to 10 Black pepper corns
1 inch Cinnamon stick 
1 Black Cardamom 
4 Green Cardamom 
4 Cloves 
1/2 Nutmeg 
1 Star Anise 
1 tsp Dagad Phool / Stone Flower 
1/4 piece Nutmeg 2 Bay leaves 
1 tsp Poppy Seeds or White Sesame Seeds
1 tsp Rice
2 tbsp Dry Grated Coconut / Dessicated coconut 
1/2 tbsp Chana Dal   / Split Chickpeas 
3 Bay leaves 
Take a pan,  on a low heat stir and roast Coriander seeds, Split Chickpeas, Rice, Cumin seeds,  poppyseeds or sesame seeds, cinnamon, cloves, black and green cardamom, nutmeg, star anise, pepper, bay leaves, stone flower, whole red chillies and dry grated coconut . Roast until you get an aroma out of the spices. Cool the spices down and then grind the spices into a powder. 

To make the Saoji Chicken 
1 kg County Chicken / Gavti Murgi / Komdi cut into pieces 
2 Onions sliced 
1 tsp Garlic paste
1 tsp Ginger paste
Few Coriander leaves chopped 
2 Bay leaves 
1 tsp Turmeric powder 
1 tsp Spicy Chilli powder 
3 tbsp of the Saoji Masala 
Salt to taste 
1/2 cup Oil 
Take a pan, add a tbsp oil, fry the onion until brown, cool it down and make a paste with little water. Take the saoji masala, add little water and make a paste.. 
Take a pot, add oil, add bay leaves, add ginger and garlic paste, sauté for few seconds. Add the fried onion paste, sauté for a minute, add few chopped coriander leaves, turmeric powder, chilli powder, Saoji masala paste,  chicken and salt. Stir and cook the ingredients on a low flame. Cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Open the lid, now add a cup of water. Stir, cover  and let it cook for another 15 minutes. Open the lid, add 2 cups  of  water, close the lid and cook until the chicken has cooked. Garnish with chopped coriander.  Serve the chicken with Roti, bhakri or rice. 

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