Friday, May 11, 2012

Himachali Tawa Murgh

Once again a forced break, no thanks to my computer, but if you are still interested enough to follow my blog, I assure you that I will not bore you with the reason for this break, but yes I was feeling a little frustrated and out of irritation almost decided to shut down this blog but my sweet little friend Puja helped me change my mind with a wonderful message on Facebook and I was back to my blog with renewed vigour.

For those who are interested, (others may skip this paragraph) Puja Sarup is someone I met when I decided to learn German at Bombay’s Max Mueller Bhavan. There was this huge age gap between us she was a teenager and I was this middle-aged woman surrounded by youngsters, in fact the teacher too was younger to me. Surprisingly the generation gap did not matter and Puja and I developed a warm relationship. As usually happens we later went our separate ways and lost touch with each other. I later learnt that she had become a stage actress and had also featured in a film (That Girl in Yellow Boots).  Recently I found her on Facebook and was able to get in touch with her again. At the moment she is away in Italy honing her acting skills. She says that, one day back from her acting classes she was in a fix wondering what to cook. This is what she says, ‘I came back from school and pulled out the chicken to defrost trying to decide what to make with it, I came across a chicken recipe that you had put up. It was great timing and so I decided to try it out, it was with capsicum and I am happy to say that it was really good. The amazing thing is that I can’t cook … but that recipe made me feel like "hey I can cook!" so thank you dear friend for doing this. It’s a brilliant idea and you need to know that you are reaching out to people in ways you may not even be aware of. Thank you so much for doing this.’Needless to mention this message from Puja  warmed my heart, what is more if it is this Chicken with Capsicum then it is what mum had cooked. Thanks Puja for getting  me back on track. 

Tawa Murgh
I occasionally watch Aditya Bal’s programme Chakle le India  on NDTV Good Times, before  I go on to the recipe of Himachali Tawa Chicken or Chicken from the hills of Himachal Pradesh (that incidentally is the English name I have given to the dish) I would first like to put down a few words about Aditya Bal who featured this recipe in his programme. My brother pointed out that he is probably the only chef who cooks almost anywhere, it could be a fancy kitchen, or in the open air on wood fire or even inside a humble hut in some tribal area. What I like about him is that unlike the fancy chefs of 5star hotels he does not waste time on styling and presentation; he just cooks and serves. I quite liked his Tawa Murgh however I made some changes to suit my palate. 

Here is the recipe with the changes that I made to the Tawa Murgh:
It will be a little difficult for me to give exact measurements for  I just picked up a few boneless pieces of chicken without measuring the quantity, thereafter I used my judgement for  the other ingredients.

  • Approximately 100-150 grams of boneless chicken, Aditya’s chicken was with the bone.
  • One bay leaf
  • One green cardamom
  • 3 cloves
  • A small stick of cinnamon
  • Approximately  one teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • Approximately one to one and a half teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
  • Approximately one cup of hung yoghurt/curd/dahi
  • Salt to taste

  • Aditya you will notice in the video (I have provided a link below) coarsely ground the bay leaf along with the the green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds and the black peppercorns. I left out the bay leaf.
  • Aditya marinated the chicken in hung yoghurt, cream and some lime juice (or lemon juice whatever you like to call our good old limbu) and the powdered masala. However I marinated the chicken for one hour only in hung yoghurt and the masala, as I did not want to use cream and I am not very comfortable with excessive lemon juice.
  • Incidentally, as we are in the midst of summer, I took the precaution of hanging the yoghurt in the refrigerator. This was a tip given by a chef on television many, many years ago.
  • I left out the bay leaf but I wanted its flavour in the dish  therefore when I heated some oil in the pan I added the bay leaf and stirred it just for short while.
  • Then I added the marinated pieces of chicken.
  • I cooked both sides of the chicken, it was at this stage that Aditya sprinkled some salt on both sides of the chicken pieces, however I did not do that, I added the salt to the leftover marinade which was to be added to the chicken. Add a little water to the marinade and stir the mixture and add it to the chicken.
  • Cover and cook till done,
  • As a final touch Aditya heated a little oil and added whole red chillies and chopped coriander leaves to the oil and poured it over the chicken, I did the same only I replaced the whole red chillies with my favourite Kashmiri red chilli powder.

Despite all these changes the chicken tasted real yummy,
Watch this video and try it out  and enjoy!


  1. Never heard of Himachali Chicken. Must have tasted delicious and lip smacking. Great preparation.


  2. I can't wait to have you cook for me, ha ha :)

  3. Shilpi, memsaab ke saath mere liye bhi kuchh! :-)
    Sounds really good.
    Glad to see you back here, blogging.

  4. So good to have you back again blogging, Shilpi (by the way, I was remembering you this morning because I have a lot of odds and ends of different vegetables lying in the fridge, and was wondering what I could make - and your recipe of chhochori immediately came to mind! Thank you for that).

    This chicken recipe sounds fairly easy and nice. Will try it sometime soon.

  5. This recipe sounds delicious, I will try it out :).
    Great to see you back !

  6. Nice to have you back, Shilpi!
    Jus tlike Madhu, I tried out your chochori, it turned out well. Thanks for that again!
    I won't be able to try out this recipe. You know the reason, but I like going through your post. Very touching!
    Welcome back!

  7. @Harvey: Sorry for the belated reply,glad to know you tried the chochchori. Thanks for the warm welcome.

  8. @Samir:Please let know how it turns out.

  9. New to your space, you have a wonderful collection of recipes..visit me sometime at