Some of the biggest and most wonderful things that exist in the world were discovered by mistake. Among them is the fire which I’m sure all us would agree is the biggest discovery in the history of mankind, and then there is butter chicken which was accidentally discovered at Moti Mahal Darya Ganj. These references prove people should keep on experimenting – be it with food for that matter or with their own lives. One more reason why people should keep experimenting is to ensure their lives aren’t monotonous.

Keeping this in mind, I tried experimenting with my taste buds this weekend. I love chicken and I’m sure there are others who have the same feelings for it. However, I have tasted almost every variety of chicken available in Delhi, checked out almost every food joint serving delicious chicken cuisine as per the internet. Therefore, I wanted to try something new, even if it is not amazing – it had to be different; and that was the only condition. 

Ingredients required for ChickenMardana

  1. Tomato. You can use ketchup as substitute but then it is too tangy for the recipe so avoid doing that unless you don’t have an option. This has to be in accordance to the number of people being served i.e. the number of people in your family. Use at least 5-6 big ones at least for four people.
  2. Onion; Onion to food is what indians are to the world – the world can’t do without it. About quantity; you need at least 250 grams at least. 
  3. Broccoli; just because I like it and I had no other vegetables which would go with the dish. Quantity; 100 to 200 gms is enough for 4 people. 
  4. Shimla mirch; go for green, red and the yellow ones. I don’t know if they have different names, I differentiate them based on their color. Quantity; based on number of people coming for dinner. 
  1. Garlic – Because you can’t do this dish without garlic. Talking about the quantity, you need at least 2 full garlics. 

You can other veggies if you want to. Veggies keep the dish healthy and light; and makes the dish look colorful. Though you can avoid veggies if you want to, it’s completely your choice. 

Here’s how to cook ChichenMardani:-

The first step is to make the chutni. Take the tomatoes and wash them properly before grinding it in your mixer. Once you take it out from mixer, put the frying pan on the gas. Ad some oil and let it heat for a few minutes. While the oil is heating in the pan, take some garlics and mash them. Once the oil is hot enough, add the garlic in the pan. In exactly 2 to 3 minutes add the tomato puree in the pan and mix it well. Again, after two to three minutes of mixing, add some tamarind eater and some vinegar in the tomato puree garlic mix. The aim is to make the chutney tangy – not too much nor too less. After 5-10 minutes or whenever you feel the chutney is ready, remove it from gas.

Step 2; frying the veggies. Before you can do that, chop all the veggies: broccoli, onion, shimla mirch and whatever you have or you like. Just don’t add something which might destroy the taste. Put the pan on gas again, add some oil – not too kuch, just a bit – and add the vegetables. Fry the vegetables for a few minutes; around 10-15 minutes on low flame and keep stirring them after every 30 seconds. Don’t let them burn. After fifteen to 20 minutes remove it from the gas. You can add salt if you want to, I prefer adding it at the end while mixing all the elements as per the requirement of my taste buds. 

  1. Wash the chicken and boil it in water first. Make sure the chicken is chopped into small pieces; don’t go for default size used in butter chicken or check roast. Keep boiling the chicken for a few minutes; 20 minutes to be precise. Add some salt while it’s boiling. After 20-30 minutes when the chicken is perfectly boiled, separate it from the remaining water. Don’t throw the water. You can use it while cooking rice. 
  2. Fry the chicken. Yup, once the chicken is boiled, add the pan on gas and put some oil before adding the check in it. I basically use the oil used for cooking the veggies for frying chicken but you can use fresh oil. Also, this chicken boiling can done in the very beginning to cook food faster. Frying the chicken is just a formality and hence, won’t take more than 10 minutes. If you want to, you can deep fry it or just simply fry. While you’re frying it, add some vinegar and some soya sauce in the chicken. Mix it and then add the already fried vegetables. Stir the vegetables and chicken until both soak the vinegar and soya sauce. Once the pan is dry and no liquid is left, remove it from the gas and then mix the chutni we made in the begining. Once you mix the three things, your chickenmardani is ready. You can serve it with anything or eat it alone. It’s your choice. Though if you serve the chutney separately, it won’t make any difference.

ChickenMardani tastes great with pulao or rice cooked using the water left after boiling the chicken.  Btw, if you’re wondering what is ‘mardani‘ here, it’s simply a click bait. You can add ‘mardani‘ after every new dish you make as long as it is cooked by a male member of your house. In all the other circumstances, you can use ‘mardani‘ :p