This magical recipe is my sister-in-laws I have yet to perfect it. I have made some minor changes to her recipe to suit my taste buds but by and large it is her recipe. I hope one day she gets internet savvy and sees her recipe on the web :-)
600 grams of chicken pieces (better to use big pieces),
1 tsp crushed black peppercorns,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
1 tbsp curds,
2 medium onions,
3 medium tomatoes,
2 green chillies,
½ cup of melon seeds,
½ cup of cashew nuts,
4 tbsp olive oil,
2 bay leaves,
2 tbsp ginger paste,
2 tbsp garlic paste,
Salt to taste,
1 – 2 tbsp cream,
1 medium sized piece of coal,
½ tsp saunf or fennel seeds,
1 tsp ghee
Marinate the chicken pieces in salt, crushed black pepper, red chilli powder and curds. Marinate it for at least half an hour, the longer you marinate it the better. I marinated it overnight in the refrigerator.
Cook the onions, tomatoes and green chillies in some water. Cool and grind to a smooth paste.
Soak the melon seeds and cashew nuts for some time in water and grind to a smooth paste.
Heat oil and add the chicken pieces after shaking off the marinade. Fry till the colour of the chicken changes. Keep aside.
In the same oil, add the cloves, bay leaves and ginger garlic paste. Fry till oil separates. Now add the onion-tomato-green chilli paste and left over marinade. Fry this well.
Next add the melon-cashew paste and salt. Add about 1 ½ cup of water and let it boil, add the chicken. Check seasoning and let it cook till chicken is cooked and gravy is thick. Fold in the cream.
Heat the coal on direct flame till it is red hot and place it in a small steel bowl. Place this bowl on top of the chicken gravy. Sprinkle the saunf or fennel seeds over the red hot coal and immediately drizzle the ghee on top and immediately place a tight-fitting lid over the vessel and let it stand for about 10-15 minutes for the smoke to infuse into the dish. Serve hot with rotis or naan.