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Murgh Shahjahani

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Submited by Shazia Aftab from Islamabad
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1 chicken (cleaned)
2 piece ginger
2 piece raw papaya
salt to taste
25 grams walnuts (shelled)
a few drops of orange-red food coloring
25 grams each of almonds and cashewnuts
2 large cardamoms
4 cloves
1 piece cinnamon stick
114 tsp grated nutmeg
4 red chillies
a large pinch mace
1 tblsp cumin seed
1 large cup curd
1 cup each of cream and milk
1/2 cup ghee
1/4 tblsp saffron essence
2 bard-boiled eggs (shelled and cut into thin rings)
a few pistachios (sliced fine)


Clean, wash and dry the chicken. Prick all over with a fork. Grind the ginger arid papaya to a paste. Mix in the salt and apply all over the chicken, both inside and out. Set aside for 6 hours. Now grind the walnuts to a fine paste. Add to the food coloring and squeeze out the walnut oil through a thick cloth. Keep this orange-colored oil aside for girnishing. Grind the walnuts once again to a paste, along with the almonds, cashewnuts and all the spices. Mix together the curd, cream and milk and beat with an egg batter till the mixture turns very smooth. Add into the nut paste and set aside. Heat the ghee and brown the chicken well in it. Mix in the milk mixture. Tie a piece of cloth over the vessel and cover with a lid which fits exactly, and does not let the steam escape. Now pour cold water over the lid and, as it dries, sprinkle more water, cooking over a gentle fire till the chicken turns tender. Remove the lid and the cloth and fry till the ghee floats over to the top. Mix in the saffron essence and remove from fire. Place in a serving dish and sprinkle the orange walnut oil on top. Garnish with eggs, and sprinkle pistachios all over before serving.

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