Dahi Chicken or Chicken in Yogurt (feat. Fried Onions) for a Sunday Lunch..

Another Sunday is drawing to a close, and palpitations have already set in. Another hectic week is staring balefully in the eye. Every Sunday evening, I hug the baby close.  One more week of day-time separation till the weekend comes. I wonder how the weekend manages to fly by!

Weekends, during my growing up years, saw me at my laziest best. I was always the one at home who would wake up late, the last one to take bath and people would generally find me constantly either watching the idiot box or reading a book. My years in Mumbai as a single girl in a hostel spoilt me further. I had no house chores to perform or any other commitments. My sister, who had a working Saturday, would say good bye to me at around 7.30 am. I don’t remember opening my eyes or waving back at her. I would wake up leisurely at 8.30 – 8.45 am and leave for the multiplex near my hostel. And while reclining back comfortably to enjoy an English flick, I would sip my multiplex-bought coffee and munch on my breakfast of chicken sandwich. Lunch later in the hostel with a book open on the dining table and then a heavy duty siesta, which was broken only by my sister’s banging on the door. Bliss! So, effectively, she would find me in the same stage as she had left me home earlier in the morning. 

Well, those days are memories of the past. I guess I had my quota of relaxation! Now, my weekends just race by without me taking a pause to even acknowledge them. Maybe that’s the story of every working mother. But unlike my singlehood days in a hostel, weekends now provide me with a kitchen where I can experiment with food. Or rather, with an unsuspecting family of in-laws and a husband. The baby shall have to wait. 

So what did I cook for lunch this Sunday? Something which was really very fast and easy to cook but at the same time, suitable for the Sunday dining table. Although the husband is not too fond of chicken he had no other option but to appease my cooking. I made chicken in dahi or yogurt, a dish I had come across on Facebook , as a member of the Assamese Cuisine community. This dish is generally made during Eid. Of course, I added my own touches to the dish. I had made it earlier also and recollect everyone approving it. Hopefully, you shall like it, too. So let’s get on with the recipe, shall we?

Dahi Chicken or Chicken in Yogurt 

½ kg chicken – cut into medium sized pieces and patted dry
Two large onions – thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
3 whole red chillies – broken into halves
3 small cinnamon sticks
3 cloves
1 big cardamom (badi elaichi)
7-8 raisins
3/4th cup fresh yogurt
Salt and sugar
3 tablespoons refined oil
A sprig of coriander for garnishing

Heat a kadai and fry the sliced onions with a pinch of sugar. Add the ginger-garlic paste and continue frying till the onions turn a deep shade of brown. Remove them from the kadai and mix with the yogurt in a separate vessel. Meanwhile, tip in the chicken pieces in the same oil remaining in the kadai and fry them for 5 minutes. Do not lower the heat but at the same time ensure that the chicken is not burnt. Also, do not add salt to the chicken at this stage. Keep stirring continuously. Take the half-fried chicken pieces off the kadai and add them to the onion flavoured yogurt. Keep the chicken in this marinade for around an hour.

Now, put 1 tablespoon of oil in the kadai and splutter the dry whole spices – red chillies, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves, along with the raisins. Take care that the raisins just turn plump and do not burn when put into the oil. Then, add the chicken with the marinade, lower the gas and cover the kadai. The chicken should be ready in 20 minutes. Keep the amount of gravy you require, season the chicken and take it off the gas. Garnish with fresh coriander and your chicken in yogurt is ready. Now, can anything be simpler than that? 

I waited for a while to hear from my husband after lunch and finally had to ask him if he liked the dish. He said the raisins were the ‘cherry on the cake’. Oh well, so maybe he did like it!

How about you try this amazingly simple, non-time consuming chicken dish which allows you to enjoy your Sunday?


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