Tar kalia – A rich chicken gravy dish

I am an avid reader of medival aged recipes. Lately I have been reading Awadhi cuisine recipes and a book consisting of recipes from the Royal kitchen of the maharajas. The subtle techniques for enhancing the flavour of a particular dish mesmerises me. At the same time, in today’s world time is a luxury and we seldom get time to create such dishes with intricacies. Anyways, I and my sharing a recipe from the kitchen of the maharajas called ‘Tar kalia’. Tar means rich. But this is an adaptation I would mention as a few techniques I applied is from the awadhi cuisine. In the original recipe, garlic has not been used. And the sesame as well. But garlic gives a wonderful flavor to the dish and the sesame is used to get a creamy texture. Khoa is used in the original recipe. I skipped that.

Tar kalia

Ingredients needed to cook Tar kalia:

  • Chicken – 800gms
  • Poppy seeds-2 tsp
  • Sesame seeds-3 tsp
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 7 – 8 soaked almonds
  • 1 cup beaten curd
  • Whole spices – 1 back cardamom, 2 green cardamom, 6 cloves, 4 red chillies
  • 3 tbsp grounded coconut – make a paste with water
  • Salt to taste
  • 7 saffron strands
  • Garlic juice – 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste




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Tar kalia Recipe – The method:

  • Clean chicken in running water and drain water completely. Marinate with salt
  • Toast sesame seeds, poppy seeds till the nutty flavor is released. Make a paste of the seeds along with a few soaked almonds and water
  • Meanwhile, take some mustard oil in a pan and fry thinly sliced onions till golden brown. Remove onion and make a paste out of it
  • Now in the same oil, add a dollop of ghee
  • Remove pan from fire. Add garlic juice
  • Place back on oven.
  • Let the whole spices splutter in the pan
  • Add chicken and wait till it turns golden brown. Add cumin , coriander and chilly powders. Add almond paste, coconut paste, garlic, ginger paste and open cook till the chicken pieces are coated well with the pastes
  • Now add curd, brown onion to the pan. Stir to mix well. ADD hot water and bring to boil. Lower ture and simmer cover cook till chicken is cooked. Oil will start to float on top
  • Add half cup of saffron water and cover cook for 5 more minutes

Your chicken is ready to serve!

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A software engineer by profession and a home maker by heart!