Chicken Angara

Chicken Angaara is my absolute favorite. Its an easy chicken recipe and it’s smoky flavor and aroma makes it distinct from most chicken gravies like Chicken Changezi and Butter Chicken. The hack for the smoky flavor is to burn a small piece of charcoal on the stove and place it on a single layer of onion, which you can place on the gravy at the end. A teaspoon of ghee on the hot charcoal releases the tantalizing aroma that will remind you of the tandoor. Lock the aroma by covering the gravy tightly. Chicken Angara is lightly spicy and prepared with boneless chicken (breast or thighs), which reduces the cooking time. Surprisingly, the recipe is a little tricky to find on the internet. Guess being delicious and my favorite aren’t the only reasons Chicken Angara is on Cukzy. So give it a go!

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Marinate:
2 pieces chicken breasts cut into chunks
1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt
(Place a small piece of hot coal on a layer of onion and place on the marinated chicken. Pour a teaspoon of ghee on the coal and cover immediately to lock in the smoky aroma.)

Blend together:
1 1/2 tbsp tandoori masala
2 tsp red chilli powder
1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
4-6 cloves
4-6 black peppercorns

For the gravy:
2-3 tbsp oil /ghee
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste (if you have them stored separately, you can use 1/2 tsp of each)
200 grams curd, beaten
3 medium-sized onions
3 medium-sized tomatoes

For the aroma:

1 small piece of charcoal

I large layer of onion

Method:

1. Finely slice the onions and deep fry till they are golden-brown. Be sure to drain on kitchen towel and immediately crush them roughly with your hands. This will keep the onions crisp.

2. Blend the fried onions with the tomatoes in a blender till they are pureed. Keep aside.

3. Heat the oil and add the ginger-garlic paste. Saute.

4. Add the pureed onions and tomatoes and simmer for a minute or two on medium heat.

5. Add the marinated chicken (don’t forget to remove the coal from the chicken). Mix well and allow to simmer for another minute.

6. Add in the ground masala and the beaten curd. Mix well and allow to cook over medium to low heat.

7. Once the chicken is cooked, turn off the flame and let the gravy settle. Keep another piece of hot coal on a layer of onion and place it on the gravy. Pour a tablespoon of ghee on the hot coal and cover immediately to lock the aroma. Leave for about 5 minutes.

Notes:

1. Keep the ghee and a lid ready at hand so you can pour and cover immediately. Use a large onion peel to avoid the charcoal residue mixing in the chicken gravy.

2. The gravy will be thick. Be careful to not let the gravy dry down. Add in a little water if required.

3. I start lighting the coals a little before hand. I place the coals on the stove while I fry the onions and prepare the gravy. It’s maybe an obvious idea, but thought it would help! You can also use the ‘magic coals’ which light up in a few seconds.