Chicken Kebabs in Green Masala


Green Masala

  • 2 bunches Cilantro
  • 3-4 Seranno peppers
  • 2 Tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 Tbsp green Peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp lime pickle, finely chopped (or sweet lemon pickle?)
  • ½ cup green papaya (under-ripe), chopped
  • ½ cup mustard oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 inch piece ginger
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsps yogurt


  • 2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • salt, to taste


  1. Place all ingredients for green masala in food processor and blend until mixture is grainy in texture.
  2. Marinate chicken pieces in masala paste and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.
  3. Skewer the chicken onto wood or metal skewers and grill on a hot grill about 4-5 minutes on each side.

Do it with couscous tabouleh.

Garam Masala

Garam Masala

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 3 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 4 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup dried red chiles
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly grated nutmeg

In a large saute pan, combine the black peppercorns, cloves, cardamom seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks, and dried red chiles. Over medium heat, cook just until slightly toasted, stirring constantly. Turn off heat and stir in the grated nutmeg.

Transfer to a food processor and grind to a fine powder. Pass through a fine strainer. Allow to cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight jar. Use as needed, i.e. in daal.



  • 1/4 cup ghee or clarified butter butter
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onions
  • 2 Tbsps. minced garlic
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, cored, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 1 lb (16 oz) orange lentils
  • 2 Tbsps. finely minced ginger
  • 2 1 1/2 Tbsps. Garam Masala, recipe follows
  • 1 Tbsps salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 6 cups chicken stock


  1. In a large pot, heat the ghee and stir-fry the onions just until wilted, do not brown. Add the garlic, jalapeno, cumin, lentils, ginger, curry powder, salt, pepper, sugar and bay leaf. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes, until the herbs and spices bloom. You’ll smell it.
  2. Add the tomatoes and deglaze with the vinegar. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender (20-30 minutes), stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning with cumin, salt, pepper and sugar.

Serves 4 to 6.

Lahori Chicken Curry w/ Onion & Tomato


  • 4 pound chicken, cut into 8 to 10 pieces and skinned
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 medium onions, roughly diced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, cut in half crosswise
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 12 green cardamom pods
  • 9 whole cloves
  • 9 black peppercorns
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Combine the chicken, 1/2 teaspoon of the turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of the cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl and stir to coat the chicken with the spices. Let stand while you make the sauce.
  2. Finely mince the onions, garlic and ginger in a food processor and set aside.
  3. Combine 2 tablespoons of the oil, the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and black peppercorns in a large casserole over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring until the cinnamon unfurls, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the minced onion mixture and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring, until the onion browns around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove and discard the cinnamon and stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth; set aside.
  5. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add the yogurt 1 tablespoon at a time and stir well after each addition. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes to evaporate some of the moisture.
  6. Add the pureed tomato mixture and bring to a boil. Stir in the water. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan every 5 to 8 minutes to keep the sauce from sticking. Then uncover and cook for 5 more minutes to reduce and thicken the sauce. Stir in the cilantro and lemon juice. Taste for salt and serve hot.

Chicken Biryani

This recipe requires a 3 1/2- to 4-quart saucepan about 8 inches in diameter. Do not use a large, wide Dutch oven, as it will adversely affect both the layering of the dish and the final cooking times. Begin simmering the spices in the water prior to preparing the remaining ingredients; the more time the spices have to infuse the water (up to half an hour), the more flavor they will give to the rice. Biryani is traditionally served with a cooling yogurt sauce; ideally, you should make it before starting the biryani to allow the flavors in the sauce to meld.


Yogurt Sauce – make ahead

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 2 tablespoons mint, minced


  • 10 cardamom pods, preferably green, smashed with chef’s knife
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into 1/2 inch thick coins and smashed with chef’s knife
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 3 quarts water
  • table salt
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lbs), trimmed of excess skin and fat and patted dry with paper towels
  • ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, sliced thin (about 4 cups)
  • 2 medium jalapeños, one seeded and both chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/4 cups basmati rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, lightly crumbled
  • 1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves


  1. Wrap cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, ginger, and cumin seed in a small piece of cheesecloth and secure with kitchen twine. In 3 1/2 to 4-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan about 8 inches in diameter, bring water, spice bundle, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to boil over medium-high heat; reduce to medium and simmer, partially covered, until spices have infused water, at least 15 minutes (but not longer than 30 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, season both sides of chicken thighs with salt and pepper and set aside. Heat butter in 12-inch nonstick skilet over medium-high heat until foaming subsides; add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and dark brown about edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Add jalapeños and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to bowl, season lightly with salt, and set aside. Wipe out skillet with paper towels, return heat to medium-high, and place chicken thighs skin-side down in skillet; cook, without moving chicken, until well browned, about five minutes. Flip chicked and brown second side, 4 to 5 minutes longer; transfer chicken to plate and remove and discard skin. Tent with foil to keep warm.
  3. If necessary, return spice-infused water to boil over high heat; stir in rice and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain rice through fine-mesh strainer, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid; discard spice bundle. Transfer rice to medium bowl; stir in saffron and currants (rice will turn splotchy yellow). Spread half of rice evenly in bottom of now-empty saucepan using rubber spatula. Scatter half of onion mixture over rice, then place chicken thighs, skinned-side up, on top of onions; add any accumulated chicken juices. Evenly sprinkle with cilantro and mint, scatter remaining onions over herbs, then cover with remaining rice; pour reserved cooking liquid evenly over rice.
  4. Cover saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes (if large amount of steam is escaping from pot, reduce heat to low). Run heatproof rubber spatula around inside the rim of saucepan to loosen any affixed rice; usind large serving spoon, spoon biryani into individual bowls, scooping from bottom of pot and serving 1 chicken thigh per person. Hit with Yogurt Sauce

Serves 4