Murgh Nizami Tikka
From the land of the Nizams
Be it jewels, costumes or cuisine, the Nizams of Hyderabad did everything with a touch of grandeur and royalty. Hyderabadi food is famous for its multi-layered flavours and ‘zaayka’. Tender chicken bits are cooked in the Nizami style and enveloped in a flurry of aromatic masalas to create these tikkas that tantalize the palate and please to perfection!
- 750 gm boneless chicken pieces cut into large chunks
- 6 tbsp Verka Ghee
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 piece of cinnamon
- 3 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 2 chopped onions
- 2 tbsp each of peanut, ‘magaz’, ‘khus khus’, and sesame seeds (til)
- 2/3 tsp each of garam masala and haldi
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup Verka Dahi
- 4 tbsp grated fresh coconut (or 3 tbsp desiccated coconut)
- 1½-2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp chopped mint leaves
- Coarsely grind the ‘khus khus’, magaz’, peanuts, and sesame seeds.
- Heat Verka Ghee in a heavy pan and splutter the cinnamon and bay leaf.
- Add the onions and saute till brown. Then add the ginger-garlic paste, salt, and haldi. Cook briefly.
- Add the crushed seeds and peanuts along with the Verka Dahi and coconut. Cook on a high flame stirring constantly.
- Add the chicken pieces, cover the lid and cook until tender. Add a splash of water if necessary.
- Serve with a sprinkle of garam masala, mint leaves, and lemon juice.
Note: For a fiery version, slit green chillies can be added along with the crushed seeds. For a more royal touch, soak some saffron in a warm milk and add towards the end of the cooking process. Fried cashew nuts add an extra flavour and eye appeal.