Kashmiri culture and ways of preparing the food lends to its exquisite and unique taste. An art form which is then accented by how the food is served….in copper dishes, with flavorful white rice, rich yogurt and tart chutneys.
Rogan Josh is a signature dish of the Kashmiri cuisine usually cooked with lamb. This particular recipe is with Chicken or “Kokur” and therefore the title. The subtle but important difference in the preparation is frying the chicken pieces beforehand which gives it the crispy exterior.
The rest of the spices are familiar with just a slight change is the way they are used in the thecooking process that differentiates it from other curries. The aromatic whole spices are fried in ghee to bring out the oils and aroma. The touch of water further steams through the spices.
I have used Mawal here, which is responsible for the deep red color. Mawal is dried cockscomb flower and is boiled with an equal quantity of water and then strained through a fine mesh. A couple of tablespoons of the liquid are then added towards the end of cooking. A pinch of saffron dissolved in warm milk or water is the last flavor and aroma enrichment.
This dish is cooked with love and the process of cooking it is something to be enjoyed as much and eating it. Many of the traditional ways of using the ingredients have been adjusted in my American kitchen but the uniqueness of flavor still commands the respect of the cook and the guest.
Kashmiri Chicken Roganjosh
- 1 whole organic chicken cut into about 10 – 12 pieces
- Olive or walnut oil for frying
- 4 cloves
- 8 green cardamom
- 2 black cardamom
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
- 2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder soaked in warm water
- 2 onions
- 2 tablespoons mawal liquid ( optional)
- 1/2 cup ghee
- Pinch of Saffron( 4-5 strands) soaked in warm milk
- Black pepper
- 4-5 cups water
- Pat dry the chicken pieces and shallow fry them in batches until golden brown. Set aside
- Slice and fry the onions until golden, grind to a paste and set aside
- If using Mawal(cockscomb), boil in equal quantity of water for a couple of minutes. Strain through a fine sieved and bottle it up to use as needed.
- Add ghee to a heave bottomed pan and add the cloves, bay leaf and cardamom. Fry until they sizzle.
- Remove from heat and add a tbsp of water and cover to let the spices steam
- Return to heat and add the garlic, saute for a minute
- Add chicken turmeric, chili, onion paste and salt.
- Add enough water to cover the chicken and bring to a boil
- Cook the chicken until tender ( about 20 mins)
- Add the mawal liquid, saffron and black pepper.
- Once it has returned to a boil, turn off the heat.