Noor Mohammadi Hotel, a humble, hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Mumbai, is famous for its nalli nihari and several other meat-intensive dishes. While the place is usually jam-packed around Ramadan and Eid, there is hardly any day of the year that you wouldn’t find people queued up outside for their order. The interesting bit is that Indian celebrity and actor, Sanjay Dutt chanced upon this simple eating joint and changed the fate of the restaurant forever.
After the first visit to the restaurant, Dutt became a patron, so much so that he gave away his own special chicken curry recipe to the owner of the joint, which began selling like hot cakes. Beyond the biryani and nalli nihari, what is sold the most today is the aptly christened ‘Chicken Sanju Baba’ as a tribute to the actor. Curated by Dutt himself, this delicious chicken curry recipe is so good that it has become an integral part of not just the menu, but the very identity of Noor Mohammadi Hotel since the past 15 years.
Here’s how you can make the restaurant-style ‘Chicken Sanju Baba’ curry at home.
1 kg Chicken
2 tbsp Ghee
4 tbsp Oil
1 cup Curd
¼ cup julienned Ginger
¼ cup Almond Paste
1 cup chopped Onions
2 tbsp Lime Juice
¼ cup Spring Onions
Coriander for garnish
For the spice mix
8 Kashmiri Red Chillies
1 tbsp Cumin Seeds
1 tbsp Coriander Powder
2 Bay Leaves
2 black Cardamoms
1 tbsp Saffron Water
Salt as per taste.
1. Heat ghee and oil in a kadhai. Add cumin seeds, black cardamom, bay leaves, dry red chillies and let them splutter. Now add chopped onions and saute till golden in colour.
2. Add tomatoes, spring onions and julienned ginger. Cook for a minute or so. Now, add chicken pieces along with salt as per taste and coriander powder.
3. Add beaten curd and almond paste.
4. Give a good mix. Cover the kadhai with a lid and cook for 30 minutes on low-medium flame. Stir 4-5 times in between.
5. Switch off the flame now. Lastly, add saffron water, lemon juice and coriander leaves. Give a good mix and your dish is now ready.
6. Pair up the ‘Chicken Sanju Baba’ dish with naan, roti or rice and serve hot.