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When Hanger Strikes

  • Writer's pictureMari

Almond Chicken

It goes without saying that Eid is going to be different this year. Some of us were lucky enough to be quarantined with our fams all Ramadan (🙃), and some of us won’t get to spend Eid with our fams like we usually do (🙁). So whether you’re looking to add a dish to moms feast, or you’re looking to fill the void of not attending moms feast, this Almond Chicken is your dish. What is almond chicken you may ask?? Chicken stewed in a thick, savoury, creamy gravy base of yogurt and ground nuts, best served with naan or rice. Like butter chicken, but way better (yea I said it) and way faster. A Pakistani inspired dish that’s not too heavy on the masalas, so it can be enjoyed by anyone! UNPOPULAR OPINION: once you make this dish, you’re not going to want butter chicken again.

Makes 3-4 servings


5 pieces of chicken legs or thighs

Juice of half a lemon/1 tbs lemon juice

2 tbs + 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (or plain yogurt, higher fat works better)

2 tsp ginger garlic paste

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp red chili powder

1 green chili, finely minced

Salt and pepper

2 cardamom pods, seeds only (shells discarded)

6 black cardamom seeds (not pods, just seeds)

3 cloves

1 small piece of cinnamon (about 1/8 tsp ground)

1/8 tsp cumin seeds

1/8 tsp coriander seeds

1 onion, finely minced

1 tbs ghee or butter (use canola or vegetable oil for #DairyFree)

1 tsp olive oil

1/3 cup almonds

1/4 + 1 1/2 cups water

1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri Methi)


Sliced ginger

Thin lime or lemon slices

Fresh curry leaves

Crushed almonds

Fried onions


1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken with 2 tbs yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric powder, chili powder, 1 tsp salt, ginger garlic paste, and green chili. Mix well and set aside to sit for 15-30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2. Use a mortar and pestle, a spice grinder, or a small blender to grind the cardamom seeds, black cardamom seeds, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Set aside.

NOTE: If you do not have whole spices or cannot grind them yourself, you can substitute 2 tsp of garam masala. HOWEVER...grinding your own whole spices will make this dish taste much better.

3. Blend the almonds, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 cup yogurt until smooth, about 60 seconds in the blender or processor. Set aside.

4. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add the ghee/butter and olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the ground dry spices and stir very well for 15 seconds. Add the onion and a dash of salt, and cook until the onions brown, about 10 minutes. Move the onions to a the side and add the chicken (with all of the marinade) to the pan. Turn to medium low and cook for another 10 minutes to seal the chicken. After 10 minutes, add the almond paste and 1 1/2 cups of water, along with some salt. Scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the brown bits into the sauce. Turn the heat down to low, and let it simmer uncovered until the sauce has reduced by half, anywhere from 15-20 minutes. Stir in the dried fenugreek and taste for salt. Remove from heat.

5. Garnish with fresh curry leaves, fresh lemon or lime slices, slivered or chopped almond, fresh ginger slices and fried onions. Serve immediately with rice or naan.


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