Borrowed a book from the library called "What's Cooking Indian" by Shehzad Husain and tried the Chicken & Onions recipe, below. (delicious...we loved it!) Calls for 3 whole cardamoms (which I crushed lightly before adding to the dish) and 3 whole peppercorns. How do you deal with these whole spices after the cooking is finished? Do Indian cooks fish them out before serving or what? Chomping down on a whole peppercorn does not seem like a pleasant dining experience, though truly, I kind of enjoyed the cardamom pod myself..this is so freaky, I know...but I accidentally 'missed' fishing one out and it ended up in my sauce but I don't think my family would appreciate it. And in a Biryani recipe I tried recently, it calls for whole cloves (yeesh! Imagine biting down on one of those!!! I fished them out but it took a long time!)...any guidance for me? Maybe wrapping them in cheesecloth would be good but then would it be authentically Indian cooking? Thanks in advance.
CHICKEN & ONIONS
2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3 whole cardamom pods (I lightly crushed mine a little)
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
4 - 6 skinless chicken thighs
1 1/4 cups water
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 fresh green chili, sliced thinly (I used a jalapeno)
fresh cilantro, chopped
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and fry over medium heat, stirring, til golden brown...this may take about 10 minutes.
Add the ginger, garam masala, garlic, chili powder, ground coriander, whole cardamoms, and the peppercorns, stirring to mix for about 2-3 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and stir fry for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring to mix all the spices with the paste. (Smells SO good!)
Add the chicken thighs to the pan and toss to coat with the spice mixture. Pour the water into the pan, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add the lemon juice, green chili and cilantro to the mixture and cook for about 10 more minutes, stirring to combine.
Garnish with a little more cilantro and more pepper strips if desired. Very lovely over basmati rice.