Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

Quick & Easy Indian Cooking
1 cup plain yogurt
½ teaspoon salt
black pepper freshly ground
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
¼ cup cilantro freshly chopped
pounds chicken thighs cut into serving portions
½ teaspoon salt
black pepper freshly ground
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
2 inch stick cinnamon
3 bay leaves
teaspoons blanched slivered almonds
teaspoons golden raisins
  1. Put the yogurt into a bowl. Beat it lightly until it is smooth and creamy. Add ½ teaspoon salt, black pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne, and cilantro. Mix and set aside.
  2. Season the chicken pieces with ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper.
  3. Put the oil in a wide, preferrably non-stick skillet and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Stir once, and put in the chicken, fitting it in a single layer. Brown on both sides and remove to a large bowl. If necessary, cook remaining chicken the same way.
  4. Put the almonds and raisins into the same hot oil. Stir quickly. The almonds should turn golden and the raisins should plump up—which will happen very quickly.
  5. Now put the chicken and its accumulated juices back into the pan. Add the seasoned yogurt. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer.
  6. Cover, turn the heat to low, and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice during this time.
  7. Remove the cover, bring the heat up a bit, and reduce the sauce until it is thick and just clings to the chicken pieces. Turn the chicken pieces over gently as you do this

Note: The large, whole spices—cardamom pods, whole cloves, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves—are not meant to be eaten.