If you think you have stored all your valuables in the safe, think again. Aren't those onions lying around unprotected in an easy to find, totally predictable spot in your kitchen? If yes, then you haven't yet heard about the armed robbers targeting trucks carrying tons of onions after prices shot up due to the unrelenting monsoons this year. While they may not target aam aadmi like you and me who cannot afford to buy more than a kg or so of onions at a time, the small time crooks - the Munnabhais and Ganpatts of your locality may target your meager purchase. Either that, or you may fall prey to your neighbour who has her eye in your onion basket and keeps borrowing a couple.
With the importance that onions have in Indian cuisine, they have the power to move not only the common man but also the government to tears. Keep a lookout for politicians giving out onions in exchange for votes because they are aware that a price hike such as this one could very well topple the government. Never have they stung more and with all this onion talk and my new found respect for onions, the time is ripe to post my chicken do pyaza/piaza recipe.
Chicken Do Pyaza is a curry that uses abundance of onions. Unlike normal curries where onions are added once, in a do pyaza, onions are added twice during the cooking process. Thus the name - do is two and pyaz is onion. It is a mild and slightly sweet curry, the kind you expect at restaurants. It goes well with roti, white rice and even appam.
Source: Laxmi Nair
You will need
1.25 kg chicken pieces (around 25 small chicken pieces, on the bone)
For the gravy
3 large onions, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
To taste, salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons oil (vegetable/sunflower oil)
4 large onions, cut into thin long slices
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
4 green chilis, slit lengthwise (or as per tolerance)
4 small tomatoes, quartered
1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder (or as per tolerance)
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tablespoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
50 grams cashewnuts, ground along with some water to a smooth, thick paste
To finish off
A handful of chopped coriander leaves
Add all the ingredients for the gravy except garam masala and salt to a pot. Bring to boil. Then cover, simmer and cook till tomatoes have turned mushy and cooked through. Let cool and grind to a smooth paste. Add this paste, chicken, garam masala and salt to the pot and cook till chicken is done.
To prepare the sauteed mixture, heat oil in a pan. heat. Add ginger and green chili, and saute till fragrant. Toss in onion slices and continue sauteing till onion has softened slightly. Next the tomatoes, chili powder, garam masala and kasuri methi need to go in and sauteed for a couple of minutes on low flame. Add cooked chicken along with sauce to the sauteed mixture, adjust seasoning and bring to boil. Finally mix in the cashew nut paste and cook for a couple of minutes. Finish off with coriander leaves.
Like every alcoholic who has his last ever drink every now and then, this was my last attempt at a curry that uses a lot of onions, atleast until the prices come down. And I loved it!