Several years ago a friend came over to my house to teach me Pakastani cooking. He was very excited to show me a black cardamom pod and how he used it to flavor the chicken and rice. Fast forward ten years and exotic spices are becoming easier to get. I ordered a small packet of black cardamom online and a few days later tried my best to recreate the meal he carefully taught me to make.
Now, he used a pressure cooker to make this dish. I don’t have a pressure cooker so I did my best to imitate the process in my frying pan. To help achieve this, first finely chopped the garlic, ginger and onion. Then use a mortar and pestle to pound the garlic and ginger into a paste.
Next fry the onions in a decent amount of olive oil on medium heat. Once translucent, add the whole spices and cook them for an additional two minutes. Add the chicken and brown. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan.
Lower the heat and add the garlic/ginger paste, remaining spices and tomato puree. Cook this mixture for about 15-20 minutes. You want the onions to break down a little.
Add 3/4 – 1 cup of water and bring everything to a boil. Put the chicken back in the pan and cook, covered, for 25-30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and black cardamom and garnish with cilantro.
I served this with Spiced “Black” Rice, which is basmati rice that has turned golden by caramelized onions.
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- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped fine
- 2 black cardamom pods
- 5 green cardamom pods
- 3 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 6-8 pieces chicken (as many as you can fit in your pan)
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger minced
- 5-6 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp tumeric
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 rounded tsp ground cumin
- 1 rounded tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups tomato puree or sauce
In a large frying pan (pick your biggest one with a cover), cook the onions in the oil until translucent on medium heat.
Add the whole spices and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the chicken and brown it. Then remove it from the pan and set aside.
Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and ginger into a paste.
Add the paste to the pan and fry for 1 minute.
Add the remaining spices and tomato puree/sauce. Cook for 15-20 minutes to allow the onions to break down.
Add 3/4 - 1 cup of water to the pan and bring to a boil.
Add the chicken back to the pan. Cover and cook for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
Remove the bay leaves and black cardamom.
Garnish with cilantro and serve.
Best served with Spiced Black Rice