1teaspoonKashmiri red chili powder(adjust to taste)
1½teaspoonchicken masala powder(or garam masala, use good one, adjust to taste)
1teaspoonkasuri methi(dried fenugreek)
¼cupheavy cream(more if needed, to balance)
2tablespoonsoilor butter (adjust if needed)
¼teaspooncumin seeds(or shahi jeera)
2 to 4cloves
1strandmace(single strand, skip if you don't have)
½teaspoonblack pepper corn(or crushed pepper, skip if you don't have)
How to make the recipe
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add all the whole spices and let them sizzle for 30 seconds. Be cautious as they may splutter.
Add ginger garlic paste and sauté until a nice aroma comes out. Do not brown and burn this.
Add chicken and fry on medium heat till it turns white or pale in color. This takes around 3 to 4 mins. Transfer this to a plate.
Pour 1 teaspoon oil to the same pan, add pureed tomatoes and sprinkle salt. Cook this until all of the moisture evaporates and turns thick like a sauce. This step takes around 4 to 5 mins.
Turn off the stove and transfer the chicken to the tomato mixture. Cool all of these completely. Cooling them is very important.
Once cool, combine the chicken, tomato mixture, yogurt, fried onions, mint, coriander leaves, turmeric, green chili, red chili powder, salt & half of the chicken masala powder.
Marinate the chicken, set aside for at least 1 hour. For best flavor, taste & tender meat marinate overnight in the fridge.
How to make malai chicken
Heat 1 tablespoon butter or oil in a pan. Then add marinated chicken.
Turn down the flame to lowest, Cover and cook till the chicken turns tender. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
I do not add any water as the chicken releases some juices. However this depends on the kind of meat.
Once the chicken is tender, add the rest of the chicken masala powder & kasuri methi. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 mins. If the curry looks runny, evaporate the excess moisture by cooking further (uncovered) on a higher heat. At the end of this step the curry must be quite thick since it will thin down after adding the cream.
Add the cream and mix well. Taste test and add more salt or cream to taste. Garnish with more cream and coriander leaves.
Serve malai chicken hot with roti, naan, chapati or basmati rice.