Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Malvani Chicken

Though I refer to my aaji's cooking as Malvani style, this is not her recipe. She never ate chicken. I mean, she used to eat seafood but not chicken, mutton or even eggs. Actually both my grandmothers had this regimen of eating only seafood but no other meat. Why seafood is ok and not any other meat? Here's a short story/legend/folktale - something I don't remember anyone telling me, but I just know it. :-)

Long ago, on the banks of the river Sarswati, lived many sages who were devotees of Goddess Sarswati. and hence they were called Sarswats. Then there was a terrible famine and life was about to come to an abrupt stop. That time, Godess Sarswati appeared and advised her devotees to eat seafood which by her grace was still ample in the river Sarswati. So the sages started eating seafood and thus survived the horrible famine. And hence the Sarswats still eat only seafood but not other meats. Well, the times have changed and everybody is free to do whatever they prefer. It was just a short story. Please read it with a touch of salt. I do not claim anything as I , by no means, am any archaeologist. :-)

Anyway, back to the Malvani chicken recipe. Though there are numerous spices in this recipe, the result is very good. Try it!!
Malvani Chicken Masala
Chicken 1 Kg, cleaned and cut
¼ Kg Tomatoes, chopped
3 tsp paprika or kashmiri chili powder
1/2 cup plain curds
1 tsp turmeric powder
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
Grind to fine paste 1 –
1 1/2" Ginger
1 small bunch Coriander Leaves/cilantro
5 Green Chilies
5 Garlic cloves
Grind to fine paste 2 –
2 Green Chilies
1/4 cup Coriander Leaves, chopped
1/2" Ginger
3 Garlic cloves
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
1 small Onion, sliced
1 tsp fennel seeds/Badishep/variyali
Grind to fine paste 3 –
1/3 cup dry coconut
2 cloves
2-3 Cinnamon
2 Cardamoms
1 tsp Coriander seeds
6 pepper corns
1-tsp. poppy seeds
4 Almonds
12 Cashews
4 tbsp Oil
A generous pinch of asafoetida
2 Bay leaves/tamlpatra/tejpatta
3-5 cloves
1" cinnamon
2-3 Onions (Medium), sliced
2 tbsp coriander leaves/cilantro, chopped
1. Grind three masala pastes separately. Before grinding the third paste, dry roast all spices,coconut and onions one after the other. You may need to use a spoonful of oil for roasting the onions.
2. Marinate the chicken with paste1, curds, turmeric powder, lemon juice. Refrigerate till ready to use.
3. Heat oil. Add asafetida.
4. Add bayleaves, cloves, cinnamon, and sliced onions. Stir fry till the onions are uniformly reddish brown.
5. Now add tomatoes and fry well till the tomatoes are mushy.
6. Now add paste 2, paprika and salt
7. Add marinated chicken and paste 3
8. Add enough water. Cover with a lid
9. Let it cook for about 30 minutes or till chicken is cooked.
10. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves on top.
11. Serve hot with Malvani puris called Vade.
Note -
1. I generally use pressure cooker to cook the chicken. It saves time and energy.
2. This chicken tastes even better the next day.


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