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FI Fresh Methi Chicken
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5 from 10 votes

Fresh Methi Chicken Recipe

Chicken in a fragrant sauce made with fresh fenugreek leaves, yogurt and spices. Serve with rice or rotis for a delicious meal.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb (700g) boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut in 2 inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • cup plain full fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon kausuri methi , crushed between palms
  • teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • 3 tablespoon mustard oil (or avocado/grapeseed oil)
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
  • 1.5 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (simply pound together 3 cloves garlic and 1 inch ginger in mortar pestle)
  • 2-3 thai bird green chilies, slit
  • 1 large (about ¾ cup) thinly sliced onions
  • pinch turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 large (about ½ cup) tomato, grated or crushed in a food processor
  • ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 to 1.5 cup fresh methi leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1- 2 tablespoon heavy cream, optional

Instructions

  • Add chicken to a bowl. Sprinkle the black pepper powder and little salt. Mix well to coat the chicken. Let stand while you start making the masala.
  • In a small bowl, beat together the yogurt, cumin powder and kasuri methi. Keep near.
  • Add oil to a heavy wide kadai or pan. Warm up the oil till its slightly smoky. Add cardamom, methi dana & bay leaf and sauté for 10 seconds. You will see that the cardamom swells up.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and green chillies. Sauté for 10 seconds till you smell a nice aroma.
  • Add the onions next and brown them till light golden in color on medium heat. Takes about 3-4 minutes.
  • Once the onions are browned, add 2 tablespoon water to the kadai, there will be spluttering. Immediately add the chicken. Sprinkle the turmeric and coriander. Toss around the chicken for 3-4 minutes with onions till you see that the chicken is whitish. Don't brown or cook too much.
  • Next add the crushed tomatoes. Fry the tomatoes with chicken for 3-5 minutes on medium heat till you start seeing tiny oil bubbles. If you are using bone in chicken, cover and let the chicken cook for about 10 minutes in its own and juices from tomatoes. Check once midway to make sure that the masala is not drying up.
  • When the chicken is tender, reduce the heat to low and add the beaten yogurt, Immediately start mix continuously for at least 2-3 minutes after you add yogurt to avoid curdling.
  • Bump up the heat to medium and Let the chicken cook for another 4-5 minutes You will see a thick gravy will form. Let the chicken cook completely. You will see that the oil will start releasing on sides of the kadai.
  • Add the chopped methi leaves along with garam masala. Mix well and cook everything till the methi has completely wilted. About 3 minutes.
  • Finish with the heavy cream , mix and turn off the stove after 1 minute. Let rest for at least 10 minutes or upto an hour if possible. Reheat and serve warm.

Notes

  • Let the methi leaves air dry for a few hours before chopping them. Adding wet methi leaves will make the curry watery.
  • Methi Leaves :-Always taste a few different stalks of your methi bunch. Sometimes the leaves are too bitter especially if its desi methi and you cannot use them to make the curry. Second thing to keep in mind is that never use the stems of methi, they are usually more bitter and fibrous so they will spoil the texture of your dish.
  • I make this dish with boneless chicken thighs but you can use bone in chicken easily. Just adjust the time of cooking as noted in the recipe.
  • I don't like using a lot of whole spices in my recipe since they overpower the taste of methi. Just a few pods of black cardamom and bay leaf is more than enough. 
  • Yogurt :- Taste the yogurt before you use it. It should not be too sour else the curry becomes too tangy. Use thick plain homemade yogurt or greek yogurt which isn't too sour.
  • Tomatoes :- Using tomatoes is optional. Again don't use very sour tomatoes.
  • Bitter Taste of Methi :- Cooking the dish a couple hours before you are going to serve and resting it not only enhances the flavor of the dish but also brings down the bitterness of the dish. However sometimes the methi is just too bitter and there is hardly anything you can do to save it, so as I mentioned before, taste the methi a few times before using it.
  • Mustard Oil:- In my opinion, the taste of this dish is best when cooked in mustard oil, however you can use avocado or grapeseed oil instead.
  • Heat :- I don't add red chili powder in this recipe. In fact, if you ask me this dish is not hot rather it has a pleasant bitterness from methi leaves. However, I do add a few green chilies for the flavor goes really well with the methi.