Mutter Murghi – One down, 659 Curries to go

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Weighing in with 809 pages,  660 Curries* by Raghavan Iyer is truly a gateway to Indian cooking.  Personally told, complete in detail and easy to follow directions this cookbook is encyclopedic in proportions. Regional variety of spice blends, meats or vegetarian and some wonderful “curry cohorts” or sides to go along. So many choices it was hard to pick what I would try first.  For convenience I wanted to see if there was a combination using ingredients easy to come by or already in my pantry, as there are no Indian/Pakastani groceries within 40  miles of me. My eyes lit on page 158, Yogurt-Marinated Chicken with Peas (Mutter Murghi), sounded great,  with some pretty fresh spring peas and an interesting sesame flavored garam masala.

Maharashtrian Garam Masala Spices
Organizing spices before toasting in a heavy bottomed skillet.

First, I marinated skinless bone-in chicken thighs for about 3 hours, recipe suggests a minimum of 30 minutes or overnight in the yogurt rich creamy marinade highlighted with ginger, turmeric, garlic, and a couple serrano chiles peppers.
Then I prepared the Maharashtrian Garam Masala, which is a sesame flavored spice blend including unsweetened coconut, cumin and coriander seeds, peppers and raw peanuts. Toasting the spices really brought out the aromatics! After cooling, ground to the consistency of course ground black pepper in my brand new spice grinder.

Cooking Yogurt Marinated Chicken
Place chicken thighs on top of onions and cook about 6 min each side while browning.

Maharashtrian Garam Masala

Amazing that it only takes one tablespoon of the garam masala to add layers of flavor to the yogurt marinated chicken thighs. I served this fabulous curry with fresh naan and a buttery basmati rice with spinach and onions. (more on that one later.) This isn’t an overly hot curry, but to cool it down for those more sensitive to heat, just add a dollop of plain yogurt. I can’t wait to test drive curry #2!

A platter of goodness
Yogurt Marinated Chicken
A little naan, a little curry and basmati rice.

Information about Chef Raghavan Iyer at

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6 Responses to Mutter Murghi – One down, 659 Curries to go

  1. Lyndsey says:

    OMG this looks amazing! Nothing like fresh spices that you grind yourself, you for sure don’t need as much! My husband can’t handle the spicy heat like I can, so sometimes I have to add more to mine later…but like you said…not all curries are super spicy! Can’t wait for curry #2!

  2. Robin says:

    Oh Ms. Lyndsey, you’re a gal after my own heart! It is tricky to gauge the spicy level of these curries. Each pepper can have a different heat so sometimes it is quite the surprise! I really enjoyed this one and thinking of something with chickpeas for #2.

    Thanks so much for your comment, look forward to visiting with you again.

  3. Bentobird says:

    Oh, this looks awesome, so impressed!! Lovely intricate Indian spices like a raaga for the soul…YUM!! I love the photos, too. Great work, great meal!

  4. Robin says:

    What a wonderfully phrased comment Jenn, music to my ears!

    This cookbook has been a great inspiration and guide it made it all very easy with amazing results. I will need some raaga playing for sure for the next curry adventure. Great suggestion!

  5. Hello, Robin, I’ve got this book too, and made a few delish recipes from it. Heck, I even made paneer from scratch and toasted chickpea flour!
    Heather Egli

  6. Robin says:

    Hi Heather!!!!!!!
    This is a fabulous cookbook, what fun to share the experience with one of my most favorite people! Yay!

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