Saturday, July 26, 2014

Chicken Kerala

 Chicken Kerala Served with Shevai

Last day of the Ashadh month -  according to the Hindu calendar - is called "Gatari Amavasya" in the non-vegetarian community of Maharashtra. This is the day when friends and family get together to celebrate "Gatari Party" where non-vegetarian food takes center stage. Vegetarian preparations are limited to the mandatory carbs (rice/chapti/bhakri/vade) and salad. After all, the holy month of Shravan starts next day. Many folks refrain themselves  from eating any non-vegetarian preparations for a month or even up to 4 months (called Chaturmas which means 4 months). Some even shun onion and garlic.

Since Gatari fell over the weekend this year, I decided to celebrate it the traditional way. While flipping my recipe diary, I realized that I haven't blogged the recipe that I learnt from my roommate during my early years in the United States. Since I don't remember its original Malayalam name, I have been calling this as "Chicken Kerala".

Chicken Kerala
Chicken Curry - Kerala Style
1 kg chicken, cleaned and cut

Green Paste Marinade
5-7 green chilies
2" ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled & roughly chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Red Masala Paste
10 Red chilies
2 tbsp. coriander Seeds
10 black pepper corn
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 -3 cloves
1" cinnamon
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp. freshly scraped coconut
1 tsp tamarind pulp
1/2 cup water

4 tbsp. coconut oil (Use more or less per preference)
4 springs of curry leaves
1 cup chopped onion

You will also need,
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup coconut milk

Suggested Accompaniment

1. Marinate chicken pieces with green paste.
2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker.
3. Add curry leaves. As they splutter, add chopped onions. Sauté till it's golden brown.
4. Now, add chicken with marinade. Sauté for 10 minutes.
5. Add red masala paste and water.
6. Place tomatoes and cilantro.
7. Stir once. Close the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook for 3 whistles.
8. Let the pressure drop. Adjust for salt.
9. Add coconut milk.
10. Let it simmer.
11. Serve with Shevai, rice or appam.

Note -
1. Adjust green and red chilies per your preference.
2. The original recipe does not call for roasting spices. You may roast the spices before grinding to add a different flavor.
3. You can use any oil of your choice but coconut oil is the preferred oil.
4. I generally use less oil than the recipe calls.
5. I use a combination of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs.

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