Thursday, May 15, 2008

Roasted Yogurt Chicken In Ghee

I love Indian food because of the cuisine's usage of herbs and spices that I grew up with. When you mentioned Indian food, first thing came into people's mind was images of red chillies floating in reddish coconut milk gravy, grounded spices, sweating red faces and tongue wagging with glasses of cold ice water (a bucket, maybe?) or lassis in one hand. I even have friends/relatives whom mentioned the word 'curry' would made them pale-faced and avoid any shops or restaurants that serve 'curry' like plague! They rather starved than tasting it...even if it's only Kurma based dishes! Is not like that at all... There are other dishes that's not going to make you swallowed that bucket of ice in front you at a gulp! 

The meaning of 'Curry' is derived from South Indian - Tamil word 'kari' which means sauce or relish for rice. It refers to wide range of spicy-sauced dishes as accompaniment to rice and bread. Another red alert word for newcomers in Curry World is 'Spicy'. It's a magic word that sends out for a fire brigade on stand-by... :-D It actually means seasoned with or containing spice that ranges from aromatic, sweet, sour, peppery, zesty to piquant or pungent like cardamom, cinnamon, tamarind, black pepper, asafoetida, chillies, tumeric, etc, etc,etc. That means you could have Rasam which is sourish to peppery taste next to Meen Curry Fish -  a Kerala dish with thick and quite spicy-hot gravy. See what I mean? Yet this couldn't bring the house down compared to Thai Red Curry or Thai Curried Beef... :-D 

I'm not sure of other foodies taste buds regarding spicy and hot cuisines but from my own experiences and friends, it's a hate-love situation. You would have a group with eyes lit up with 'Where? Where?' sign written on their foreheads and even could hear slurping sound somewhere by just mentioning the word 'curry' and another group, frowning their faces, ready to get a roll of toilet paper. Well, I do have friends who are a bit sensitive to curry but... it's ok if it's Tandoori. I don't know why... I do felt sorry for them that I kept 1 - 2 toilet paper rolls wrapped up nicely inside one of the back side compartment of my car. You know, on the safe side when the gang suddenly changed their minds in last minutes to go Indian or Thai food instead of Chinese fare... I do say that we're a bit... no, too spoilt of choices in food in Malaysia and I LOVE IT!!!

Anyway, I wanted to share this dish. It's a family favourite and I usually served it with Briyani Rice and vegetables.

Roasted Yogurt Chicken in Ghee

500 g chicken/breast meats, drumsticks or your choice (clean & cut into chunks)
150 ml Ghee
1 nos. Green Lime (extract the juice)
2 nos Red Onion/Bombay Onion (sliced thinly into rings)
2 cloves Garlic } blend/pound together 
3 cm  fresh Ginger  } until fine paste
250 ml ready-made Natural yogurt (plain & no sugar added)

2-3 medium size potatoes-cut into wedges
1 nos medium size carrot - cut into rounds/wedges
300 ml Water or as needed

3 nos Cloves
2 nos Cardamom
3-4 cm Cinnamon bark
1 nos Star Anise
1 Tsp Tumeric powder
1 Tsp Chilli paste

Chilli powder to taste
1 Large Ripe Tomato - cut into quarters
Onion cripies (fried crispy shallots)
Salt to taste

Oven-proof pot/deep casserole dish (like Pyrex/Corningware)

1. Pre-heat the oven @ 180 ºC.
2. In a casserole (that's big enough for the chicken) heat the ghee until is hot.  
3. Add in the chicken, lime juice, big onion, tumeric, chilli paste and a little salt. Stir and leave it for few minutes until it boils.
4. Add in the potatos wedges and carrots. Stir until well mix and let them cooked until soften a bit.
5. Pour in the yogurt and add in some water (adjust to your liking if you prefer to the dish to have more gravy or less because vegetables will give out juices as well.) Cook until meat is tender.
6. Add in the quarterd tomatoes, chillie powder and fried crispy shallots. Bake in the oven @ 180 º C for 10-15 minutes until brown.

Serve hot with rice or naan, bread, chapatis...

Note: If you like it more hot or spicy, just add extra chilli powder or fresh chillies.. :-D Sometimes, I used extra spoonfuls of Ghee I made myself by using unsalted butter. If you can't find unsalted butter, you can use salted butter to make Ghee but reduce the amount of salt required in the recipe. More Ghee means better aroma your dish is but watch out the cholesterol level...


  1. Hello Pixen :)

    I found your blog while I was cheking my FoodBuzz profile. And this was a good chance to me, because I do like learning about different cuisines.

    I'm not a fan of 'too hot' dishes, however I love spices. (I mean anything other than too much chillie is acceptible to me :D )

    Here in Turkey we use a spice called "curry powder". It is more yellow than ground ginger. I adore the curry powder especially with chicken.

    Now I wonder is that curry powder is the same with Indian name of curry spices? Or is it just a name we use for that powder?

    Best wishes from Istanbul,

  2. Hi pixen,

    thanks for dropping by. you have fantastic recipes. Will try them out one day!!!

  3. Hello Ducky,

    Thank you for cruising to my site. :-) And do give me feedback as well... See you in blogs.

  4. Merhaba Bal. Memnun oldum?

    This recipe is not that hot... in fact I added extra chilli powder to suit my taste. Don't worry, you can try this recipe. If you're afraid the quantity of chilli strong, just add in a bit first; taste than add some to your liking.

    To clarify this 'curry powder' - there are many types of curry powders for different types of food. There are curry powders for fish, crabs/other seafood, mutton, chicken, beef and vegetable. Ranging from yellow to red powder... depends on the amount of red chilli and other spices added but it's base is actually called Garam Masala- from this other spices were added to suit the dish. I think the powder you mentioned is a mild curry and you said it has stronger yellow than ginger means it has more tumeric. May I know what you call that curry powder in Turkish?

  5. Hey Pixen,
    I love your blog! Thanks for all the information you share. I love this recipe too :)

  6. Hey there, pixen. Your chicken looks great. You seem to be well-versed in Inidan cuisine. I've learned a lot in the past few minutes.

    I attempted to make a similar recipe for a culinary test when I was in school. I am surprised I passed the class. Not only did my chicken have no flavor, it was not cooked all the way through. I cried all the way home!

  7. hi Mag,
    Thanks and I hope you try the recipe. I hope to have more of such recipes later on to share.

  8. Hello Nikki,

    Would you believe that I hate hot & spicy food when I was little? :-D I would pick every piece of chillies out from my meals. Comes to worst, I would rather not touch it at all. My mom would purposely put pieces of chillies if she don't want me to 'steal' eating the dishes she cooked...LOL. It's guaranteed that I won't touch it even if the chillies were just for decoration! Only 'chillies' I ate were Bell Peppers & white/black peppers.
    Silly of me isn't it? :-D


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