I don’t think I will be wrong in assuming that most of us wait all week for the weekend to make an appearance. So, we can hide under the blankets and pretend to be oblivious to what the day may hold. A day where we can kick our shoes, relax, unwind, and not be bothered by the things that keep us occupied during the week. We wait for the much-wanted laziness to take over us because there is no real rush to go anywhere, and we can surrender to it unabashedly without feeling an iota of guilt about missing out on anything.
And most of us go out of our way to make sure that the food we eat on the weekend is hardly relaxed. We want our food to be almost luxurious, a feast if I may call it that. Since all of us have memories of growing up on special weekend meals that our mothers so lovingly made for us, it has to be special. And this food cannot be a hurried affair, it needs a little TLC, a little effort, a little panache.
Like this beautiful “Chicken Rizzala”. The silky-smooth gravy is not one that is bursting with overpowering flavors but has a very mild delicate taste to it. The succulent pieces of boneless Chicken soak up all the flavors of the herby green gravy, almost falling apart with every bite.
If you are not a meat eater, you can substitute the Chicken with Mushrooms and still enjoy this dish it tastes as delicious and thoughtful as we want our weekend meals to be.
Recipe - Cooking Time 60 minutes
1 kg chicken, skinned, and cut into 8 pieces
½ cup raw cashew nuts
4 medium onions, chopped
2 large handfuls of coriander leaves
½ cup mint leaves
4 green chilies
2 bay leaves
6 green cardamoms
3.5 cm piece of cinnamon
2 tsp freshly chopped Ginger
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 heaped teaspoon of coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp sugar
2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
65 ml cream
1 tbsp oil, butter, or ghee
½ tsp mace powder or 1 blade of mace (Optional)
2 tbsp oil Vegetable oil
Soak the cashew nuts in warm water for 15 – 20 minutes
Pour 2 tablespoons oil into a frying pan and fry the onions over medium heat until they are crispy brown, but not burnt at the edges. This will take between 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pan and the heat.
When the onions are done, put in a blender with the washed coriander leaves, mint leaves, green chilies, soaked cashew nuts, and ½ cup water, and purée. We don’t want a runny paste, so be mindful of the amount of water you add at the time of pureeing.
In the same pan, heat the remaining oil over low heat and add the bay leaves, cardamoms, cinnamon, ginger, and garlic. Then increase the heat to medium, put in the chicken pieces, and sauté in the aromatic oil for about 5 minutes until the chicken is seared.
Now add the coriander and cumin powder. Sauté the chicken for 2 minutes, stirring so that the chicken doesn’t stick to the pan. Add the green purée and sauté the chicken for a further 2 minutes.
Add the salt, sugar, lime juice, and 1 cup of water. Adjust the seasoning if needed and cook until the chicken is cooked, then add the cream and stir well.