Lazeez: This is a Urdu word, but there is no direct translation in English. It can be loosely translated to beyond delicious. Lazeez refers to how tasty something is, but also that it is flavorful. This dish is beyond lazeez. :) I got the recipe from my friend Fati Naz. She has her on own page on FB called Delicious Bytes Love of Cooking. Every single recipe of hers that I've tried has been super scrumptious.
With a little planning, this dish can be easily made on a weeknight. Serve it with some plain rice and store bought puff parathas (or make them yourself if you feel so inclined). This is a dish that rivals the best Indian/Pakistani restaurant and now you can make it at home!
Fati Naz's original recipe calls for bone-in chicken. Did you know that I have an aversion to uncooked meat? I love eating all meats, but there's just something about cleaning raw chicken and meat that makes me sick! So I always opt for boneless, skinless chicken breast. I also always reduce the amount of oil/butter called for and I almost always substitute fat free half and half for cream. I have listed Fati Naz's original recipe below, and noted the changes that I made in parenthesis. Enjoy!
Look at the beautiful color! It is derived from the tandoori masala (easily found in any Indian/Pakistani grocery store, larger grocery stores which carry Indian products, possibly World Market, or online here: ishopindian), paprika, and red chili powder. Generally I would clean my bowls off before photographing them, but as I mentioned, I have an aversion to raw meats, so I left it as is. I hope you can excuse the streaks of marination!
Because I used chicken breast instead of bone-in chicken pieces, I chose to skewer the cubes, put them on a wired cooling rack, atop a foil lined baking sheet. (Note, while skewering, your hands will turn orangey-red. Not to worry, a little soap or some fresh lemon juice will take away the color!) The chicken cubes had a bit of space between them so that the heat could get through and provide for even cooking. Putting them on the cooling rack also creates the same effect (even cooking from top to bottom).
1 kg chicken, 12 pcs. Slit the pieces for perfect marination (I used 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces cut a little bigger than one inch cubes)
3tb full thick yogurt
3tb fresh cream (I used 3 TB fat free half and half)
1 tbsp fresh ginger garlic paste (I used bottled ginger garlic paste)
2 tbsp Shan Tandoori Masala
1 tsp red chilli (I used 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves), crushed in your palm
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp fine crushed cumin (I used ground and mixed coriander/cumin pwdr)
1 tsp fine crushed corainder
salt to taste
1/2 tsp meat tendrizer ( skip this if you r mariating whole night) i did for 2 hours only .. (Chicken breast cooks up quickly, so I skipped this)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp melted butter or ghee (clarified butter)
For the sauce:
4 tbsp butter + 1/4 cup oil (I used 2 TB butter and 2 TB oil)
1 tsp ginger garlic
300 gms tomatoes, finely chopped (about 3 large roma tomatoes or 1 1/2 cups)
Salt to taste
2 green chilli, sliced
1/2 cup cream or more
Mix together all the ingredients including the chicken .Cover and keep it in fridge for 2 hours.
Pre-heat oven at 200C (400F) and bake the chicken (along with the left over marinade). Keep chicken pieces on oven grill & keep oven tray underneath. Bake chicken pieces on both sides, each side 8 - 10 min or until golden. (I put my chicken pieces on soaked skewers). Reserve its dripping ( as we have to use this with chicken in the gravy).
In a large pan,on medium heat, melt the butter with the oil. Add the ginger & garlic,1 green chili and fry a minute or so.
Add in the chopped tomato and cook till water dries out .
Add the chicken, the remaining marinade, salt, green chili . Keep on low heat, covered & cook for 10 mins. (Since I used chicken breast, I covered the tomatoes for 8 minutes and then added the chicken pieces, cooked for another 3-4 minutes and then followed to the next step).
Add the cream and cook for further 2-3 min.
We enjoyed with Parathas