Celebrate Eid with this methi chicken this year! In this recipe, I’m going to share a shortcut on how to get juicy, flavorful chicken without having it marinade it overnight! When you have kids you know that you’re bound to have some activity over the weekend, whether it be a birthday party, local event or class project, there’s always something going on. That’s why I love this method because it requires very little time for marinating but still soaks in the flavor. Yayyyy for last minute dinner decisions!!
The marinade shortcut method I am referring to is “par baking.” When you don’t have time to marinade your chicken for a gravy dish what I like to do is bake the marinated chicken on a high heat for about 15 minutes to seal in the flavor. The juices start to release (save this) and the flavors stick to the meat. This also helps your chicken to have a slower cooked taste as opposed to a rushed boiled taste. The magic of this method is also in how it allows you to multitask. While you cook down your gravy your chicken par bakes, it’s almost like magic. It’s important not to overbake this! The point is to seal in the flavors and not dry out your chicken, so set a timer when using this method.
Let’s talk about the key ingredients, I tend to lean towards bone-in chicken for most of my curries as I feel you really get the flavors when using a whole chicken. If using bone-in chicken have your butcher cut two-inch pieces, if using boneless, cut one and a half inch pieces. In my experience, the marinade shortcut works better with bone-in chicken! The methi I use in this dish is fresh or frozen fresh, I prefer using this as opposed to the dried variety, kasoori methi. Kasoori methi is more of a finishing herb as it should not be cooked for long periods since it tends to turn bitter. The fresh variety satisfies our family in both taste and nutrition.
2 lbs chicken
1 cup fenugreek leaves, chopped; fresh or frozen
2 cup onions, chopped finely
½ cup tomatoes, chopped
½ cup tomato purée
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 Indian green chili, slit
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon nigella seeds
¼ teaspoon garam masala
1 cassia cinnamon stick
2 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cooking oil of choice or ghee
Wash the chicken, drain the water and keep it aside.
In a large bowl mix the yogurt and half of the following ingredients: ginger garlic paste, coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder and salt. Add a teaspoon of oil and mix ingredients thoroughly. Add the chicken and mix until coated.
Line a baking dish or tray with foil and preheat the oven to 450F.
If using fresh fenugreek/methi, clean, wash, chop and set aside. If using frozen, remove from freezer set aside.
On medium heat, warm oil or ghee in a deep pan. Once hot add the cloves, cumin, cassia cinnamon, fennel and nigella seeds. As they start to sputter add in the chopped onions and split green chili.
Cook on medium heat, reducing the onions as they release their water.
Once the oven is heated to 450F, transfer the chicken on the baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, once the onions have reduced, add the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée and remaining ginger garlic paste. Mix well and add in the fenugreek/methi.
Cover and let cook for 3-4 minutes, as the tomatoes release their juices.
Uncover and add the remaining turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, and salt. Mix well and cover again.
Remove the chicken from the oven once par-baked and immediately add to your fenugreek curry, juices and all. Mix and let cook on medium heat for 15-18 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered.
Taste for salt and add if needed. If the gravy has thickened too much you can add ½ cup of hot water and mix well. Add the garam masala and turn off heat.
Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot with roti, naan or rice.
It is officially that time of year—the holiday season. There’s nothing like Christmas and New Year’s in the West Indies. Between the pepperpot in Guyana and the palm trees decorated in lights in Trinidad, the home food, warm weather and laid-back ambiance makes us wish we could escape the cold and head back to the Caribbean. Most of us, however, cannot “take holiday” and find ourselves hungry for fresh dhal puri and doubles. But, thanks to these Indo-Caribbean food bloggers, we can bring the motherland to our kitchens.
From Diwali mithai specialties to curry chicken, Matthew is creating a name for himself as a young Guyanese food blogger. He makes a great effort to incorporate Hindu holidays and traditions on his Instagram account, in conjunction with the customary foods and sweets associated with these religious events. However, his expertise does not end there, with new and alternative recipes for classic dishes such as curry chicken and bhara, Matthew takes center stage sharing both traditional Guyanese dishes as well as specific religious dishes made for festivals. His most popular YouTube video, with 1.4 million views, features his grandmother and focuses on the best tips to make the softest Guyanese paratha roti. In addition, his YouTube account is home to many videos offering guidance to Indo Caribbean cooking. Find recipes at @mattews.guyanese.cooking
Natasha Laggan of Trini Cooking with Natasha is wildly popular throughout the Caribbean and the U.S. With humble beginnings, Natasha credits her love of food to her family’s business. She speaks of the nostalgia home food provides her as she reminisces memories of her grandmother’s cooking and helping her mother make sandwiches early in the morning. Featured by Forbes, Natasha grew her Facebook following quickly throughout the pandemic by posting old YouTube videos. Today, she has more than 1 million followers on Facebook and over 200K followers on YouTube. She uses her passion for cooking and Trinidadian culture to bring easy-to-follow recipes to viewers. Her following has now reached the West Indian diaspora globally as she has also become a brand ambassador to two well-known food companies. Follow the food expert @trinicookingwithnatasha.
With over 100K followers on YouTube, Ria is quite the expert when it comes to making roti. Her dhal puri, sada roti and paratha roti tutorials have over 1M views! However, her expertise does not stop there. Of the 180 YouTube tutorials, her recipes vary from curry to other Trinidadian favorites like macaroni pie and pigtail soup. Just scrolling through her YouTube page makes your mouth water. From doubles to classic Trinidad bakes like pound cake and sweet bread, she provides precision and anecdotal commentary while guiding you through the familiarity of home food. Check out Ria’s page at @cookingwithria.
Known as Chef Devan, Devan Rajkumar embraces his Guyanese Canadian heritage by creating recipes combining flavors of both the East and West Indies. His love of food has allowed him to expand his role to judge in a popular Canadian cooking show: Food Network Canada’s Fire Masters. His cooking often blends the flavors of multiple cultures but also creates the classic recipes of his motherland. With a multitude of interests, Chef Dev uses his social media platform to connect with followers by sharing various aspects of his life that go beyond cooking. His most recent YouTube video provides a trailer for an upcoming video “Tastes Guyana” which shows him exploring Guyana from the inside, specifically deep parts of the inner country. To learn more about Chef Devan follow @chefdevan.
Reshmi is the chef behind the growing blog, Taste of Trinbago. A Trinidadian native who now resides in Texas, she uses her love of food and Trinidadian culture to share hacks, tips and easy recipes with West Indians throughout the globe. She finds a way to simplify traditional West Indian meals, that we once watched our elders make with curiosity. From holiday specialties like black cake to Diwali delicacies, Reshmi has brought vegetarian and non-veg recipes to followers in an extremely accessible way. She even posts recipe cards on her IG highlights for followers who may need written instructions. Her IG profile is a mix of various West Indian foods while also sharing bits of her life and even her secrets to baby food. Follow her @tasteoftrinbago.
These are just five Indo Caribbean food bloggers sharing their secrets to easy cooking. The once very daunting recipes and food instructions our parents gave have been simplified by most of these bloggers through video, voice over and modernized recipes. We no longer have to estimate a “dash, pinch or tuk” of any masala. We are just days away from Christmas and this is the perfect time to find the best-suited recipe to make that paratha for Santa.