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The Mint Chicken Curry (Hariyali chicken)

Here is a chicken curry recipe that really takes advantage of the tasty exotic spices and aromas from India. In India the time of the Diwali festival which happens yearly mid-October and mid-November is the occasion for big celebrations amongst hindus. Diwali is also called the festival of lights, at which gifts are traded and fireworks frequently shown at all major cities. The festival lasts five days; the third day, the most important day, is dedicated to the goddess Lakshmi, wife of Vishnu; Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity or abundance. Each of the other four days of the Diwali festival are associated with other legends and traditions. This mint chicken curry is one of the recipes made and served for these celebrations...

Ingredients (for four guests):

* 1 whole chicken; cut in 6 parts
* 1 bunch fresh mint leaves
* 2 small onions, chopped
* 2 green peppers, seeded then cut in halves
* 1 cup plain yogurt or curd
* 2 garlic cloves
* 1 tablespoon crushed fresh ginger
* 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
* 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
* 1 teaspoon ground coriander
* 6 pods, green cardamom
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 cinnamon stick
* 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
* 2 tablespoon of peanut oil (or other vegetable oil)


1) Clean the chicken parts, then remove and discard the skin from the chicken. In your favorite saucepan (with tight fitting lid), heat the peanut oil and in it fry the mustard seeds without burning them.

2) Add Indian bay leaves, cinnamon, fennel, cardamom, coriander; press in the garlic and add the finely minced ginger, then the green peppers. Once the spices are fragrant, add to the pan the chopped onion and fry a few minutes.

3) Put the chicken parts in, season them with salt and pepper, then fry all ingredients together over medium heat setting until the chicken meat's color starts to change.

4) Pour some water in, then simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

5) Whisk the yogurt, then pour it to the saucepan with the chicken.

6) Chop the mint leaves, their stems cut out and discarded, then add them to the chicken curry, simmer 10 more minutes.

Serve with rice and a side of indian style vegetables, such as potatoes and/or eggplants.