Cumin: Cumin is usually used both as whole seed or roasted and ground into most dals, curry dishes and vegetables. Not only is it one of the prolifically used spices, it is also an important one because it aids in digestion. It has a slightly bitter and nutty taste and a distinct strong and warm aroma. It helps to add an earthy and warming feeling to cooking, making it a staple in certain stews and soups, as well as curries and chilli
Buttermilk braised Garlicky Yogurt Chicken
(Preparation Time: 30 minutes; Serves: 4)
500g boneless chicken breasts but to bitesize
1 1/2 cups Greek yoghurt
1 cup water
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp toasted Cumin powder
½ tsp Green chilli paste
1 tsp ginger grated
1 tsp fresh mint leaves-chopped
Salt to taste
1 tbsp cornflour dissolved into a paste in a little water.
For the tempering:
1 tbsp Ghee/Grapeseed oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp garlic chopped
1/2 tsp green chillies, chopped
For the Garnish
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
Whisk the yoghurt with the water until it becomes smooth. Add the cumin powder, green chilli paste, grated ginger and salt and mix well. Add water and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Temper the yoghurt mixture; heat the ghee and add cumin seeds. When the cumin sarkens and gets aromatic add the garlic. When garlic starts getting golden at the edges, add chillies. Allow the chillies to fry until they begin to darken but not burn. Pour this flavoured ghee over the buttermilk.
Add the prepared cleaned chicken to the buttermilk mixture. Place on a slow flame and cook slowly, stirring often. Keep cooking until the chicken pieces have turned opaque. Strain out chicken and transfer to a large pan. Leave yoghurt liquid to simmer. Cook slowly using some of the yoghurt liquid left in the other pan to baste chicken.
Meanwhile add the cornflour paste to the simmering yoghurt liquid and stir in well. It will thicken quickly to the consistency of a béchamel sauce. When chicken begins to get golden brown and crisping at the edges return to yoghurt sauce and stir well to coat. Scatter with Mint leaves and serve with Crusty bread and a green salad.