Thursday, December 27, 2007

Chicken Kolhapuri

Kolhapur is famous for Goddess Mahalaxmi's temple, Kolhapuri chapals, Kolhapuri saaj, Kolhapuri laungi mirchi, Kolhapuri jaggery & last but not least three of the famous Kolhapuri meat delicacies. They are Chicken/Mutton Kolhapuri, Tambda Rassa (Red curry) and Pandhra Rassa (White curry). This cuisine is fiery hot with the famous laungi mirchi (A type of hot chilies).

This is what amazes me the most. Though Indian cuisine is generalized as just tandoori chicken, chicken tikka masala and naan, there is really so much variety. Every state of India has a uniquely different cuisine and even within any state, based on the region, the cuisine is unique. Take an example of my home state of Maharashtra. There is Maharashtrian cuisine with is flavored by Goda Masala (that's how we cook most of the Maharashtrian dishes at home), and then there is Kolhpauri cuisine, Varhadi cuisine, Khandeshi cuisine, Marathwada cuisine, Malvani cuisine, Koli style cuisine, Prabhu style cuisine and many many more types. And same is applicable to each and every state. This variety just amazes me and even if I try diligently, it is just impossible for me to master this diversity of Indian cuisine.

My aunt's recipe which I am sharing today, is generally made with the goat meat or mutton. But I use it for chicken and it tastes good.

Chicken Kolhapuri

1 lb chicken

1 red bell pepper

4-5 dry red chilies (Kashmiri or byadgi)

1/4 tsp. Cumin Seeds

7 pepper corns

3 cloves

1" cinnamon

1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds

1 tsp. Black Cumin Seeds (Shah Jeera)

2 tsp. mustard seeds

1/4 cup dry coconut

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp turmeric powder

4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

salt to taste


1/2 lemon

1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves chopped


1. Roast all the spices one after the other. Roast coconut till it is deep brown but not burnt.

2. Grind the roasted spices, coconut and red bell pepper without adding any water to a smooth paste.

3. Marinate chicken with the above paste, salt, turmeric powder.

4. Add chopped garlic to the above marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

5. Heat oil in a pressure cooker/pressure pan or pressure handi. Add marinated chicken. Stir fry for about 5 minutes.

6. Add 1 cup water. and pressure cook for up to 4-5 whistles.

7. Squeeze lemon. Mix well.

8. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Note -

1. I have significantly reduced the number of chilies (from up to 20 kashmiri chilies or 4-5 kolhapuri laungi mirchis)

2. I have also significantly reduced the amount of oil (The recipe called for a whopping 3/4 cup oil!!!)

3. You can let the curry boil till all the water is completely evaporated to make "Chicken Kolhapuri sukha".

4. The original recipe definitely does not have red bell pepper, but I added to get a rich red color. If you have kashmiri chilies with you, you don't need to add red bell pepper.

Credits -

1. The idea of using red bell pepper for getting the vibrant red color for the Indian curries is by Madhur Jaffrey.


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