Zeera Murg

Zeera Murg (zce-rah moorg), cumin-flavoured chicken dish from north India, may be served either zuith a pulao or with naan.

1×5 lb. chicken, cut into

8 serving pieces juice of

2 lemons

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 tablespoons flour

2 oz. butter

2 medium-sized onions, sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1-inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds

10 fl. oz. yogurt

5 fl. oz. double cream thinly pared rind of 1 lemon, in one piece

Put the chicken pieces on a large plate. Rub them all over with the lemon juice. Set aside for 20 minutes. Pat the pieces dry with kitchen paper towels.

On a second plate, mix the salt, cayenne and flour together. Roll the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, coating them thoroughly and shaking off any excess.

In a large deep frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the chicken pieces and fry, turning them over frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes or until they are lightly browned. Using tongs, remove the chicken pieces from the pan and set them aside on a plate.

Add the onions, garlic, ginger and cumin seeds to the pan and fry, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the onions are golden brown. Stir in the yogurt, cream and lemon rind. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them in the yogurt mixture to coat them well. When the mixture comes to the boil, cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer the chicken for 1 hour or until it is very tender. Uncover the pan for the last 20 minutes so that the sauce becomes thicker.

Remove the pan from the heat and remove and discard the lemon rind. Spoon the chicken and sauce on to a warmed serving dish and serve.

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