Quick and easy recipe to make Achari Chicken or Pickled Chicken with the spices that you already have at home!
When I made Achari Chicken for the first time, my husband was completely bowled over. It was a big win for me because it came at a time when I was relatively new to cooking and most of my attempts at cooking ended up with all curries being totally overwhelmed with huge amounts of masala or spice powder. Every time, I would mess up our dinner my husband would remind that I had great potential when it come to cooking since I made the best Achari Chicken he had ever eaten. Before you say..Aww! let me tell you this my husband is a smart man. He believed that he had only 2 choices – it was either encourage me to cook or be responsible for making dinner every day and he chose the former.
Anyways coming back to the recipe, when I made Achari Chicken in the past, I always used store bought masala but this year I decided to stock up only basic spices in the kitchen and make do with what I have and that’s what I did.
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 2 pounds chicken thighs, chopped to pieces of desired size
- 4-5 Anaheim peppers or Bhavnagari chillies
- ½ teaspoon mustard (rai) seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin (jeera) seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel (saunf) seeds
- ¼ teaspoon fenugreek (methi) seeds
- 1 teaspoon nigella (kalonji) seeds (optional)
- 1 cup onions, chopped finely
- 4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 inch piece of ginger, finely grated
- 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
- ½ cup yogurt
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander - cumin (dhania - jeera powder)
- salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon lime juice or to taste
- 2 teaspoon garam masala
- Water as needed
- Make 2 slits in the chillies or peppers making sure the stem is intact.
- Heat oil in a kadhai or wok over medium-high heat. Add chicken and fry them on each side until browned (approximately 3-4 minutes each side). Don't overcrowd the pan, fry them in batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Add the chillies or pepper, saute them for a minute or two and set them aside.
- Add mustard seeds to the oil and when they begin to sputter, add cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and nigella seeds (if using). Saute them for 10-20 seconds and then add the chopped onion slices and fry them till they soften (approximately 10-12 minutes). Add garlic and ginger and fry them for a minute or so.
- Add chopped tomatoes and fry them till the mixture becomes mushy and begins to leave oil.
- Add yogurt, salt, garam masala, coriander - cumin powder and chilly powder and mix well. Add water as needed to get it to the consistency you desire.
- Add the chicken back to the wok and continue cooking on medium heat till it is done (approximately 10 minutes). Add chillies or peppers along with lime juice. Cover the wok and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve it with hot with roti or rice