1.5 kg chicken washed and cut
1 tbsp ginger paste or finely grated
1 tbsp garlic paste
2 big onions, sliced
2-3 green cardamoms, 3-4 cloves, 2" cinnamon, 1 black cardamom, 1-2 mace, 5-6 black peppercorns
1 cup yogurt
1/2 tbsp oil
For the gravy
1 medium onion finely sliced
1/2 tbsp poppy seeds or khus khus soaked
1 tbsp broken cashew pieces, soaked
1 tbsp magaj seeds (melon seeds) soaked
1 tsp shahjeera
2-3 whole kashmiri red chillies
Few strands of saffron soaked in milk
1 tsp nutmeg powder
1 tsp white pepper powder
2 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp kewra essence
2 tbsp cream
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a pan and add the whole garam masala listed under marination. Let the aroma arise and then add the sliced onions. Fry till translucent and then add the ginger garlic paste. Fry till raw smell disappears. Remove from heat and let it cool. Grind to a paste. It is okay if the whole garam masala does not grind very fine. That only adds to the taste.
In a bowl, marinate the chicken with the spice paste just prepared, salt and yogurt. Marinate for 3-4 hours.
In a pan, heat the oil and ghee and add the shahjeera and whole red chillies followed by the sliced onions till golden brown. Shake the chicken off the marinade and add to the pan. Fry to seal the juices that is until the chicken turns white. Now add the rest of the marinade and keep frying on medium high till the excess water evaporates.
Meanwhile, make a paste with the soaked cashews, poppy seeds and magaj seeds. Add this paste to the chicken and mix. Add 1/2 cup water and cover and cook till chicken is done. Keep stirring in between to avoid sticking at the bottom.
Once the chicken is done, add the kewra essence and saffron soaked milk and stir. Check for seasoning and add pepper powder. Reduce the gravy a bit if there is still excess water. We do not want a runny curry but a thick one. Lastly add the cream and stir and remove from heat. Serve hot with rice/pulao or naan.