Chicken Pista

While holidaying in the UK in 2013, the two of us with our two daughters and one son-in-law had dinner at a most excellent Indian restaurant, the Sitar 2 in Sun Street in Hitchin. As usual we all chose different dishes and my selection was something called Chicken [Murg] Pista, which I had never come across before, and it proved to be the prize of the evening. As soon as I got back to the Shaky City I did some research to see if I could replicate this delicious dish. The following is a synthesis of several recipes that I was able to find, and it comes very close to the classic sample. Just as a thought, this could also become a Chicken Walnut, Chicken Almond, Chicken Cashew – just use different nuts.

Ingredients.

1 cup plain yogurt.

1 tsp dry ginger.

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped.

1 tblsp raw sugar.

Salt to taste.

400g lean chicken meat, diced.

1 cup full cream.

1 cup pistachio nuts, shelled.

½ tsp turmeric.

1 tsp ground cumin.

1 tsp ground coriander.

½ tsp ground fennel.

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ cup cooking oil.

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped.

1 [or to taste] small green chilli, finely chopped.

1 bay leaf.

Chopped and whole mint leaves to garnish.

 

Method.

Mix together the yoghurt, ginger, garlic, sugar, salt and meat in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least eight hours. Using a kitchen wand, blend the cream and the pistachio to a paste. Cover and set aside. Mix together the turmeric, cumin, coriander, fennel and nutmeg. Set aside.

Place a large skillet on a hot flame and add the oil. Add the onion and stir fry until beginning to brown, then add the chilli, the dry spice mix and the bay leaf. Stir fry for another minute then add the meat mixture, then the pistachio paste. Stir well until thoroughly mixed and bubbling then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for twenty minutes.

Discard the bay leaf. Serve garnished with the chopped mint and with basmati rice on the side.

Serves: 2.

 

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