These past few days have been amazing for a tennis lover. Great streaks, intense games, budding stars, peaking superstars and age defying super duper stars 🙂 Those who know me know my love for Federer, that epitome of graceful, flawless, sophisticated, timeless athleticism and achievement. His semi final match at Roland Garros against the “streaking” Djoker was jaw dropping good and then his final against Rafa, though unlucky for him, was one of the best games of his life in clay court (even Roger admitted so). And now Wimbledon has begun. The unfortunate part is, having been treated to Roger and Rafa, it is almost impossible for me to love any other player as much. I don’t even know if any other comes close, both on and off the court, to these guys. That’s of course a very personal opinion but I wouldn’t be surprised if half the world shares it :D. And one feels sad for all the other very talented players, who were destined to peak in the Fedal era. C’est la Vie, never fair and always demanding ! Anyway, as always (and ALWAYS), I am firmly in team Roger and wish to see him the champ at SW19.
So why are we talking tennis? No idea, except that May and June are a treat for tennis lovers with back to back Grand Slams and I am a tennis fan for sure. But that has nothing to do with this recipe. This recipe was my discovery browsing through the alleys of the WWW in search of a typical murgh malai kebab (In Hindi, murgh-chicken and malai-cream) that you so readily find in India but which I rarely come across in this country, even in Indian restaurants! My patient, absorbing and exhaustive search was rewarded when I stumbled across this recipe from the varli online magazine and decided to give it a try since it looked tantalizingly like the old thing. It is !!! Yes, my friends, this is it; an amazingly rich, soft and melting concoction which will stimulate both your taste buds and your senses. It is now a declared favorite in my house. Easy to make and fancy to impress, skip it at your peril 🙂
Ingredients: Serves 6-8 as appetizers or 4 as main course
4 chicken breasts (apprx 1.5 lbs)
1 tbsp ginger, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
1 tbsp malt vinegar (or regular vinegar)
2/3 tsp salt
1/2 cup yoghurt
1/2 cup cream cheese
2 tbsp heavy cream
2 tbsp chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
1 tbsp chopped green chillies
1/2 tsp green cardomom powder
1/2 tsp white pepper powder (if you need to, then substitute with black pepper)
2 tbsp cheddar cheese (optional)
1 tsp chat masala (optional, you can find chat masala in Indian grocery stores)
1 tbsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
1. Cut the chicken into 1.5″x1.5″x1″ chunks (if you are serving this for the main course then just half each breast, make a few gashes for the marinade to seep in and go from there). Put it in a medium bowl and add the 1st marinade and mix well. Marinate in the fridge for 30 mins.
2. In another bowl mix yoghurt, cream cheese and egg together. Add coriander, green chillies, cardomom and white pepper and cheddar to prepare the 2nd marinade.
3. Remove chicken from fridge and pour 2nd marinade to it, mixing well. Marinate the whole thing for 4-5 hrs for flavors to seep in. You can also choose to prepare it the night before and marinate it overnight.
4. When you are ready to bake, put the chicken pieces on a tray and bake for 15 mins, turning over once. The other way is to grill it, which makes the kebabs even tastier.
5. Sprinkle chat masala and lemon juice and serve with favorite greens, sliced white onions and mint chutney. If you are serving this for lunch, you can choose to serve this with Naan, Roti or Pita bread.