Chicken Handi is a mouth-watering dish that has become a favorite in many households across the globe. Its unique blend of spices and flavors makes it a dish that can be enjoyed as a main course, snack or even a dessert. In this blog post, we will explore the history, ingredients, and cooking techniques of Chicken Handi. We will also take a look at some creative ways to serve this dish with beverages like wine, beer, and cocktails.
What is Chicken Handi?
Chicken Handi is a traditional Indian dish that originated in the northern region of the country. It is a type of curry that is cooked in a clay pot or a handi, which gives it its distinct flavor. The word ‘handi’ means clay pot in Hindi. The dish is made using bone-in chicken pieces that are cooked in a creamy tomato-based sauce that is flavored with a blend of spices.
The History of Chicken Handi
The origins of Chicken Handi can be traced back to the Mughal era in India. The Mughals were known for their lavish and extravagant lifestyle, and their love for food was no exception. The dish was initially prepared in a handi, which was a clay pot that was commonly used in Mughal kitchens. Over time, the dish evolved and became a staple in households across India and other parts of the world.
The ingredients used in Chicken Handi vary depending on the recipe and the region it is prepared in. However, some of the common ingredients include
- 1 kg boneless chicken, cut into small pieces
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1/2 cup cream
- 3 tbsp oil
- Salt, to taste
- Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Heat the oil in a large handi or wok on medium heat.
Add the cumin seeds and fry for a few seconds until they start to splutter.
Add the onions and fry until they turn translucent and start to brown.
Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for another minute.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they turn soft and pulpy.
Add the coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, black pepper powder and salt. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the chicken and fry until it turns white.
Add the yogurt and mix well. Cover the handi and cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Add the cream and mix well. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with naan or rice.
Cooking Techniques for Chicken Handi
Cooking Chicken Handi is a simple process, but it does require some patience and attention to detail. The first step is to marinate the chicken in yogurt and spices for a few hours. This helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor. Next, the chicken is cooked in a handi or a clay pot over low heat. This slow cooking process allows the chicken to cook evenly and absorb the flavors of the spices and sauce.
Fusion and Gourmet Variations of Chicken Handi
Chicken Handi has evolved over the years and has been adapted to suit different taste preferences. Chefs around the world have created their own unique versions of the dish by adding their own twists and flavors. Some gourmet variations of Chicken Handi include using organic, locally sourced ingredients or adding a fusion twist by incorporating flavors from other cuisines such as Thai or Mexican.
Serving Chicken Handi with Beverages
Chicken Handi is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed with a variety of beverages. For a classic pairing, it can be served with a glass of wine or a cold beer. For those who prefer non-alcoholic options, it can be served with a refreshing cocktail or a mocktail.
Chicken Handi as a Snack or Dessert
Chicken Handi can also be enjoyed as a snack or dessert by making some creative changes to the recipe. For a snack, the chicken can be shredded and served in mini handi bowls with a dollop of yogurt and mint chutney. For a dessert, the cream can be substituted with condensed milk and the spices can be replaced with saffron and cardamom to create a creamy and sweet dish.
Chicken Handi is a delicious and versatile dish that has become a favorite in many households around the world. Its unique blend of spices and slow cooking process in a handi gives it a distinct flavor that is hard to replicate. It can be enjoyed as a main course, snack, or even a dessert, making it a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit different taste preferences.
Whether you prefer a classic version of Chicken Handi or a gourmet fusion twist, there is no denying that this dish is a must-try for all food lovers. So why not gather your friends and family and try making Chicken Handi at home today? With its rich history, unique blend of spices, and variety of serving options, it is sure to become a favorite in your household too.