Najaf Style Chicken 65

 Najaf Style Chicken 65

A very fond memory of Dubai, has to be the Chicken 65 from Najaf Restaurant, Deira, for so many of us expats. It is slightly tangy, sweet, spicy, vibrant and a firework of flavors! Once you have had Chicken65 from Najaf, you can never see Chicken 65 as a dry fry, like how it's usually served in restaurants. This recipe, has a story behind it, its not completely mine, it's a compilation of 3 different recipes, which includes mine. 

The story begins like this - My mom in her young days, used to love experimenting with food. One fine day, she happened to smell the beautiful aroma of curry leaves sautéed in butter coming in from the flat underneath, the aroma just held the air still. Then a few days later, when she had the Najaf 65, she immediately remensced the aroma of the curry leaves sautéed in butter. So she started experimenting on her own - she knew there was yogurt in it, and the spices she played with and almost got hold of it. This recipe was developed years ago, where marinated chicken is cooked in the marinated yogurt masala itself and the rest of the steps are similar to mine, but mom doesn't add ginger garlic paste. 

Recently I saw a recipe of a fellow blogger ( frying the chicken pieces, so I tried this and felt that the sauce held onto the chicken much better when fried and her recipe so much like mine and my moms.

I have used butter to splutter the curry leaves and the mild green chillies, you may use ghee too, but I felt butter gives that intense flavor. What I love about the recipe is that, with very few ingredients you can make a curry that is delicious and finger licking good. I did not use any form of food color in the recipe, so you can be sure that you can serve your kids happily too and they will love it, in Sha Allah! 

Ingredients :

  • 500 gms Chicken, curry cut
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • Salt, as required

For the gravy:

  • 2 large Green chillies, mild, chopped (more if you like it spicy)
  • 2 sprigs Curry leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 of a peeled onion, chopped roughly
  • 1/4 inch ginger piece
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 cup Yogurt 
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 1 large knob of butter 
  • Salt,as required 
  • Pinch of sugar 

Instructions :

  1. Marinate the chicken with Kashmiri Chilli powder, Turmeric Chilli powder, and salt as required.
  2. Fry the marinated chicken pieces in vegetable oil and do not over crowd the pan while frying, for around 10-12 minutes .
  3. Chop the green chillies and curry leaves and set aside.
  4. In a mixer jar, add in the chopped onions, ginger pieces, garlic, yogurt, tomato paste, tomato ketchup, red chilli powder and coriander powder. Blend well to a fine paste.
  5. In another pan, add a knob of butter and add a couple of tablespoons of the fried oil to the butter (so that the butter does not burn).
  6. Now add in the chopped curry leaves and chopped green chillies, saute for a couple of minutes.
  7. Add in the prepared yogurt-tomato paste. Mix well and allow the gravy to cook well.

  8. Next add in the fried chicken pieces and pour water and allow to come to a boil, add salt, as required. And a pinch of sugar.
  9. Let the gravy reduce and come to a boil and when the color of the gravy changes to a bright red and the oil separates from the gravy, you know your curry is done!

  10. Enjoy with a hot flakey porotta! Yummmm...

Do try this recipe and don't forget to share your experience/feedback with me here in the comments or feel free to send me a mail. Also, do tag me at #taystedit if you try out my recipes on Facebook, Instagram etc so that I can see when you make it. ♡♡♡♡

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