As I stood by my window on 26th June, the 96th day of nationwide lockdown, I could see the clouds slowly gathering together and it felt like they were planning something big, something thunderous. The hands of the clock struck 5:00 pm and it broke my imagination. My home quarantine had finally concluded. I breathe a sigh of relief, only partially as the mask was still around to obstruct the fresh breeze ????
I imagine, how we would have received this much-awaited, soul-soothing rain on a Sunday evening if COVID-2019 was just another Sci-fi?
Maybe, the amateur poet in me would have come up with something like this
Suraj ki kiraane ruh tak ko jala rahi thi,
Har lamha har pal garmiyaan aur nazdik aa rahi thi,,
Dekh in kaale badaalo ko maan ka mor aaj nach utha hai,
Haule se jam ek naya mera hath tham chuka hai...
The ringing of the stopwatch brought me back to my senses. It’s cooking time! After all, my heart deserves a few moments of genuine peace and solitude ????
Chicken Kosha – The ultimate test of patience
I prefer whole leg pieces and thigh cuts for most of my with bone chicken recipes as these cuts remain juicy and the flesh succulent even when they are cooked for a long time.
Add 200 gms of sour yogurt and coat all the pieces, cover the container and let the marinade spell work its magic within the cold secure walls of the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. If possible, marinate it overnight.
It’s been over 4 hours now so let’s get started with some core ingredients that we will need for the Chicken Kosha.
Barista or fried onion flakes seem to be a straightforward task but trust me, there is a fine line between caramelizing and burning when it comes to onions. The moment you feel it will need another couple of minutes, that’s exactly when the heat should go off and your oil strainer should start acting. Picking up the dry spices is self-explanatory and so is the onion paste.
For the ginger-garlic-chilli paste, I prefer using a mortar and pestle. I dilute it with some water to obtain a consistent paste. You can opt for blender instead and keep the paste dry.
I prefer aluminum kadhai/pot to cook Chicken kosha for obvious reasons. Non-stick kadhai doesn’t offer much when scrapping the bottom often for divine flavors plays a key role in this recipe. The dark brown color, which I believe is one of the testimonies of Chicken Kosha is the end result of continuous scrapping of lightly charred and caramelized curry flavors.
Add 2-3 tbsp of mustard oil once the kadhai is hot and follow up with the dry spices. Fry the spices for a minute or so till they crackle and release oils. Then add the onion paste. Saute for another 3 to 4 minutes, sprinkle some sugar and cook till it is caramelized. Sugar helps the kosha to attain a richer color and also acts as a taste enhancer.
It’s time for the ginger-garlic-chilli paste to spice up the kosha. If you have kept your paste dry, add 100 ml of warm water. Saute the mixture well and once the water has dried up, add the powdered spices followed by salt.
Once the mixture starts leaving oil, I add 1 tbsp of ghee. Another 3-4 minutes of sauteing and it’s time for the lead to take the center stage. First, add the chicken pieces, followed by the excess marinade and continuously stir the mix on high flame for 3 to 4 minutes. Make sure you don’t end up burning the spice mix. Now, lower the flame, cover the lid and get your cocktail (P.S. Not for the recipe, but for your soul!).
Let the chicken release its juices and let it cooks on its own for about 15 to 20 minutes. Do give a check every 5 minutes to scrap the Masala that forms a subtle aromatic layer on the bottom of the kadhai/pot. This is what defines the color of your kosha. So be patient, wait, scrape, stir the Kosha and sip your cocktail.
Time to spice things up. It’s time to add the kosha masala, an inherent soul of the dish. Add all the dry spices in a pan and saute for a minute or so till the aromas are released. Take the pan off the heat, let the mixture cool off and then grind it coarsely/ finely to have your aromatic kosha masala.
This quantity is ideally enough for 2kg-3kg of chicken. You just need 2 tbsp of this masala fro the current quantity of chicken before setting up your kosha for final 15 minutes of slow cooking the tender chicken meat, ready to glide off its bones. Time for some exciting sips of the cocktail!
Serve it with naan, tandoori roti, simple plain rice or pulao. Chicken Kosha goes well with all.
Happy cooking, do let me know in the comment section how it turns out for you. Goodbye until next time folks????
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