Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour 5 minutes
1 tsp saffron
6 bay leaves
4 black cardamom pods
1 nutmeg seed
2 large pieces of mace (optional)
2 tsp cloves
5 onions, for caramelised onions (directions below)
6 cups Greek yoghurt
2 tsp zafrani food color, this can be substituted for 1 tsp yellow food dye and 1 tsp orange food dye
2 tbsp garlic, chopped
2 tbsp ginger, chopped
3 tbsp sunflour (or neutral) oil
6 chicken thighs
1 tbsp ground coriander powder
salt to taste
2 tsp mild chilli powder (kashiri)
2 tsp sugar
1 sheet of vark (edible silver leaf)
2 tsp flaked almonds
1. Start by making the caramelised onions. Chop up the 5 onions and place them in a frying pan with 4 tbsp of olive oil. Gently heat the onions, stirring intermittently, until the onions begin to turn brown. If the onions start looking a little dry, a little water can be added to the pan. This process can take around 40 minutes. Once they have reached the desired consistency and color, remove the onions from the pan, and put them to one side, making sure that the oil left in the pan is retained and added to the yoghurt. These can be done a few days in advance, and stored in the fridge.
2. Before starting the garam masala, remember to place the saffron in 4 tbsp of warm water to infuse the flavor.
3. To prepare the garam masala, toast the bay leaves, the cloves, the cardamom, the nutmeg and the mace in a frying pan over a medium heat. Keep stirring the spices to stop them burning. The spices will be ready when the cloves begin to swell, turn a gray color, and pop. Allow the spices to cool down, before grinding into a fine powder in a spice or coffee grinder.
4. In a large bowl, mix together the yoghurt, the zafrani food color, the ginger, the garlic, 1 tbsp of the garam masala and the oil retained from the caramelised onions.
5. Add the sunflower oil to a large pan, and seal the chicken on both sides.
6. Add the yoghurt mixture to the chicken. The pan should be at a high heat so as not to boil the chicken. Then add the the caramelised onions and the ground coriander and keep stirring the mixture for about 10 minutes.
7.When the oil begins to rise to the top of the sauce, and the yogurt begins to split, add the mild chili powder and season with salt. Finally, while the sauce is boiling vigorously, add the infused saffron, turn the heat down, put the lid on the pan, and allow the chicken to cook for a further 10 minutes.
8 Before serving add the sugar and mix thoroughly. Serve by topping with vark and flaked almonds.