Chicken Dilruba

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  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons Punjabi garam masala
  • 6 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) chicken, skin removed, cut into pieces
  • 2 or 3 fresh green cayenne peppers, minced, or serranos or jalapenos
  • 1 cup fresh plain yogurt
  • Salt and ground cayenne to taste
  • 1/4 cup almonds, ground
  • Few strands whole saffron, soaked in 2 tablespoons warm milk
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, ground
  • Minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup melon, pumpkin or squash seeds
  • Almonds/cashews for garnish (optional), ground


  1. Put the onions and ginger in a blender or food processor and process into a smooth paste (consistency of applesauce).
  2. Heat butter or oil in a heavy, deep skillet and gently brown the onion-ginger mixture, stirring often.
  3. Add chicken and yogurt. Combine well and cook over medium heat until the mixture becomes rather dry and the chicken begins to brown.
  4. Grind almonds, walnuts and melon seeds until quite fine. Stir them into the milk, then add the mixture to the chicken along with garam masala, turmeric, chile peppers, salt and ground cayenne. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the chicken is very tender and the sauce is very thick (about 10 to 15 minutes).
  5. Stir in the saffron/milk mixture and cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Serves 4.

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