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A simple, and favourite recipe

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

No that's not quite it above, but it's similar. The dish I am talking about is Chicken with fresh dill and it's from Madhur Jaffrey's Cookbook: Food for Family and Friends. The above dish is chicken with fenugreek - Murgh methi. But more or less the same - just a different herb. Madhur Jaffrey introduces this dish this way:

"I often make this dish in the country for dinner if friends are visiting, or our daughters have arrived with their boyfriends. It can even be cooked ahead of time then reheated. ... Chicken is easy to cook. It can also be so refreshing and elegant when simmered with fresh dill."

I discovered this dish years ago and have made it many times. The page in the book is covered with splash marks. It's quick and it's easy and amazingly tasty - if you have some dill. I wonder whether you could make it with mint?

I'm writing about this because I am absolutely bereft of inspiration today and then I remembered something my son said the other day. As one of my home-made Christmas presents, I gave him this recipe with the spices and herbs he would need, plus a few other Indian things. Apparently, being a good son, he did actually try out the recipe, and the other day he told me that it was now a family favourite with he and his two sons and that they eat it quite often. So if he can enjoy this, then so can you.

You can find the recipe at the link at the top of the page, but basically you just mix yoghurt with a lot of dill, spring onions, ginger, cumin, green chillies, lemon juice, salt and pepper. You brown your chicken bits in oil that has been tempered with cinnamon and cloves, and when brown add your yoghurt mix and cook. You're not supposed to have much sauce left, but I guess that's up to you. It's ridiculously easy, which is why we do eat it from time to time. It's probably meant to look more like the dish below.

This dish is a slightly more complicated version from another of her books which she calls Chicken in a Green Sauce, and which is, in fact derived from the Murgh Methi which is shown at the top. She wanted to make the fenugreek dish but had no fenugreek, and so in an inspired moment substituted dll. The recipe is in A Taste of India, and this is the picture I found there. Apologies for the line down the middle as it's part of a double page spread. The picture below is of a dish served in a London restaurant called chicken with coriander and dill and which I suspect is actually her recipe, although there is no recognition of this.

This recipe is cooked in a rather more usual Indian style - cook onions, add curry paste, add chicken, add yoghurt and cook. Just before the end you add a mass of chopped coriander and dill which makes it absolutely divine. In fact it was from this recipe that I learnt that it really is a great idea, particularly with curry, to add a mass of chopped fresh herb right at the end of the cooking. Yes I should have known that, but somehow I didn't. Honestly this recipe is not that much more complicated than the first one, and it probably is just a tiny bit tastier. But I love them both. In fact I bought a big bunch of dill at the market, so I think we might have one of them later in the week.

If you can find fenugreek - they have it in the Queen Vic market - then try and make the original version. Swap the dill for fenugreek. I think I even tried it once, but honestly thought the dill version was better.

Do try it sometime. Anyone can cook this. Anyone.


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