This is Farah Malik’s recipe. I have just re-created it in my kitchen with chicken. Her original recipe is with goat meat/mutton. I met Farah on the Facebook group called Indian Food Freak. IFF is a fun food group started by my former super boss and some of his food friends around the NCR region.
When I saw people like Aman Kahlon wolf down Farah’s recipe, I couldn't stay away from it for long. And yes, Aman did follow the goat meat protocol in his recipe.
Since the temptation to have Farah’s Tamatar Gosht-ka-Salan was immense, and I did have a whole chicken in my freezer, I decided to make it with what else – Murgh (Urdu for chicken!). The decision was made very, very late last night while writing photo comments on Farah and Aman’s creations. Maybe that explains why I dreamt of tomatoes and mutton and onions and spices.
800 grams chicken pieces (bone in and skinless)
1 large red onion, thinly slivered (the size of red onions here is super, I’d say about 300 grams of onions should suffice)
4 medium size ripe, hothouse tomatoes
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garam masala (I pound together little quantities of cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, and black peppercorns)
1 heaped tablespoon coriander powder
1 tablespoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
2-3 tablespoons mustard oil
1 tablespoon desi ghee/clarified butter
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped fine
5-6 whole green chillies (optional)
Start by blanching the tomatoes for 8-10 minutes on high heat. Make sure you score the bottom of each tomato with a pairing knife to form a large “X” before you dunk them in water. This will help you take the skin off easily. Retain the water in which you have blanched the tomatoes. Remove the skin and keep the tomatoes whole.
Heat the mustard oil and ghee in a thick-bottom pan. Add the bay and the slivered onions.
Sauté the onions till they become translucent. Now add the ginger-garlic paste, coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric and garam masala powder. Mix everything with the onions and slow cook till oil releases from the spices.
Now add the chicken pieces. Cook the chicken with the onions and spices till it becomes nicely browned. Do this on low-medium heat and scrape off any spices from the bottom of the pan, lest they burn. The chicken should take about 10-15 minutes to get browned and coated with the spices.
At this stage, add the blanched tomatoes. Let them break down on their own and mix with the chicken and spices. 10 minutes of medium heat cooking will do this for you. Season with salt and watch the chicken and tomatoes release tons of juices of their own. Mix well.
Add the water you retained from blanching the tomatoes to the chicken and tomatoes. Let it cook on high-medium for 5-6 minutes. Do a taste test, season with salt if necessary. Turn the heat off and add the chopped coriander and whole green chillies.
Though I must confess I have already sneaked in spoonfuls of the shorba (gravy) in a bowl and already love the tangy taste of tomatoes in this dish. Thank you, Farah Malik for this gem. I promise I will make it with mutton next time.