Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Murg Khurchan

On my recent India trip, this is one dish that came appearing to me one way or the other. I tasted it first time in my life in a North-Indian restaurant along with my sister and we both enjoyed it thoroughly with some tandoori rotis. Since then, it somehow continued to capture my attention either through in-flight menus or cookery books and websites. I finally told myself that I have to get done with these ghost appearances and chanced upon a recipe by Chef Marut Sikka. It is a vanishing dish and in fact I had never before heard of it until a few weeks back. Khurchan means scraping and traditionally this dish is made on a tawa/griddle but since my tawa is really small, I made it on a frying pan. The taste is superb and is a close cousin of chicken keema, except that you use roasted and shredded chicken here instead of minced. You must try this dish once and help in keeping its fame alive!! For my vegetarian friends, you can easily replace the chicken in this recipe with paneer except that you need not shred it too finely. 
For the masala 

6-8 dried red chilies

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

Gently roast the above in a pan and then grind to a fine powder in a mixer grinder.

For the Sauce 
1/4 cup ghee 

6-8 cloves of garlic finely grated

4-5 large ripe tomatoes chopped 

Salt to taste

 3-4 green chillies chopped

For the chicken/paneer/ veggies 

1/2 kg chicken/paneer/mixed veggies cut into one inch cubes

6-8 cloves garlic finely grated

2" piece of ginger finely grated

Juice of one lemon

1 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp white pepper powder

Salt to taste

2 tbsp refined oil 

For the assembly 

50 gm butter

 2 onions sliced

 1 green bell pepper deseeded, cut into strips

1 red bell pepper deseeded, cut into strips

1 yellow bell pepper deseeded, cut into strips 

1 tsp garam masala 

1 tbsp kasoori methi roasted and crushed 

1" piece ginger julienned

Fresh coriander leaves chopped for garnish


Keep the dry masala ready as per instructions above. 

Heat the ghee in a pan, add the garlic and saute until light golden brown. Add the powdered masala of chillies, cumin and coriander, stir and immediately add the tomatoes.

Add salt, increase heat and once the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat and continue to cook the tomatoes until they achieve a sauce-like consistency. Now add the green chilies and cook for another 1-2 minutes, check the seasoning and remove from the fire.

Now start preparing the chicken/paneer/veggies. Mix all the ingredients, except the chicken/paneer/veggies, together and add the chicken/paneer/veggies and marinate for 2-3 hours.

In the case of chicken or any other meat I normally add meat tenderizer or grated raw  papaya (two tablespoons). This acts as a tenderiser for the meat and also gives a gentle sourness. Skewer the chicken/paneer and cook in a tandoor. Alternatively cook in an oven (225°C for 6-10 minutes). The idea here is only to cook the chicken/paneer half way through, yet impart a smoky flavour to it.

Time to assemble. Traditionally it is to be done on a griddle or tawa. Mine is too small to accommodate all. So used a frying pan. 

Add the butter to the tawa/pan and once it melts, add the half done chicken/paneer/veggies. 

Cook on low heat scraping the griddle, just avoiding the chicken/paneer from sticking or burning, for 2-3 minutes. Add the sliced onions and continue to scrape the griddle, cooking until onions are glossy. Add the bell peppers and keep stirring till slightly soft but have a crunch still. Add the tomato sauce and continue to scrape. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add garam masala, kasoori methi and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add julienned ginger and fresh coriander. Stir well and remove from fire. Check the seasoning and serve.

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