Friday, April 24, 2009

Chicken Curry-Kerala Style

Right from my childhood days I could never stop having chicken dishes. I guess chicken was the only thing that I liked having those days. I never used to like vegetarian side dishes with rice and my mom had a really tough time making me eat. I used to enjoy chicken dishes made at home and at restaurants and on such occasions I didn't need any one to force me to have it. My brother too loves chicken and when a chicken dish was prepared at home it never had to be kept in the refrigerator for next day! As I grew up I started loving vegetarian dishes too especially with paneer but my love for chicken still remained the same. I always ended up in having food double my capacity when there was chicken and hence during my work days I used to get teased a lot by my colleagues saying, "
Never judge by looking at her size..have to see her before a chicken dish! The poor chickens would have a hard time when she goes home". My work place was far from my home town and was in a different state and whenever I went home my mom used to make her speciality chicken dishes for me..yummy!

Still I love chicken but I always prefer having with lots of spices rather than with only salt and pepper. One point that I noticed after coming to US was the chicken that we get here cooks faster than the one we used to get in India(am I right?!!)..Back at home making a chicken dish used to take a lot of time and when there was shortage of time it used to be cooked in a pressure cooker.Now I'm happy that I can make my favourite dish in a short span of time!

In this post I have recreated my mom's dish. Some traditional Kerala style chicken dishes are prepared with coconut milk and other spices. But in this recipe I substituted ground coconut for coconut milk that makes the gravy more thick and used freshly ground roasted spices in addition to other spices that imparts a special flavour to the dish than when it is cooked with ready made spices. And as always true with non-vegetarian dishes this too tastes better the next day. This goes well with Appam, Idiappam, Puttu, Steamed rice, Indian breads like Chapati, Roti, Naan etc.

2 pounds chicken with bones cut into pieces
2 red onions
2 large ripe tomatoes
4 garlic cloves chopped
1.5 tbsp freshly minced ginger
1/2 tsp chilly powder(adjust according to your taste buds)
Turmeric Powder- 3/4 tsp
Coriander Powder- 1 heaped tsp
Chicken masala/Garam masala- 1 tsp
Freshly ground pepper- 1/2 tsp(adjust according to your taste)
Salt to taste
Grated coconut - 1/3 cup
Bay leaves
Mustard seeds- 3/4 tsp
2 sprigs curry leaves
Coriander leaves(Cilantro) for garnish(optional)
Coconut oil for cooking
To dry roast:
2 one inch cinnamon stick
5 cloves
Few cardamom seeds
1 star anise
1 tbsp fennel seeds
To marinate chicken:
Chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder- 3/4 tsp
Chicken masala- 1 tsp
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste

  • Marinate chicken pieces with ingredients mentioned under marinade. Leave it for minimum 1.5 hours.
  • In a pan dry roast the ingredients mentioned above at medium heat until you get the aroma of spices and the colour slightly changes. Cool and grind. Keep aside.
  • Grind grated coconut to a smooth paste adding water. Keep aside.
  • In the same pan heat 1 tbsp coconut oil and splutter mustard seeds. Add curry leaves and bay leaves and saute for few seconds.
  • Add chopped ginger and garlic and saute till raw smell goes.
  • Add chopped onions and saute for few seconds before adding the ground spices kept aside before. Cook till onions turn brown.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and cook till it turns mushy.
  • Add chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, masala, pepper and salt. Saute till raw smell goes.
  • Add ground coconut along with enough water for making gravy and bring to a boil.
  • Add the marinated chicken pieces, reduce the heat and cook with a closed lid until the chicken pieces are cooked well.
  • Open lid, increase heat and cook till the gravy turns thick.
  • Add 1 tbsp coconut oil, mix well and remove from heat.
  • Garnish with cilantro if you wish.
  • Allow the dish to rest for few hours with a closed lid before serving to allow the flavours to set in.
For pressure cooking:
  • In case you are short of time and want to pressure cook, follow the instructions till onions turn brown.
  • Next add the spice powders mentioned and saute till raw smell goes.
  • Add the ground coconut along with enough water to cook chicken and to make enough gravy.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Add this to pressure cooker along with marinated chicken and tomatoes. Pressure cook till done.
  • After the steam has been released, open the cooker, transfer the contents to the same pan and cook until the gravy has turned thick. Follow the rest of the instructions mentioned above.

Other Non-Vegetarian Dishes:

Mutton StewBeef RoastBeef UlarthuLamb CurryButter ChickenPhotobucketChicken Ularthu


renuka said...

i havnt tried coconut in chicken gravy..will try it out and let you know...the photos are grt...

Pooja said...

Thanks Renuka :)

Pooja said...

Bookmarked it pooja..Gravy is looking rich and yummy..

Pooja said...

Thanks Pooja :)

Priyameena said...

Mouth watering chicken recepie dear!!!Perfect for the weekends..

Pooja said...

Thanks you said I too prefer to make during weekends :)

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Meme Pooja... When I went to the hostel everyone doubted whether I will survive that cos vegan hostel ;) Oh are you taking a delicious revenge??? Oh my its simply irresistable...

Pooja said...

Hehe thanks Ramya..At home too they thought of me in a similar way during my work days at Chennai!! Now I've been able to srike a balance between veg and non veg dishes!

Food said...

oh nice i made this too check out my recipe. i will try ur way next time :)

Pooja said...

Thanks..I'm unable to access yours because it says its not publicly shared.

Divya Vikram said...

Loved your chicken love story!! Nice chicken recipe. Also liked ur squash soup recipe!

Kitchen Flavours said...

Oh wow spicy, aromatic and flavourful....

Valarmathi said...

HMmmm drooling. Looks delicious.

Varunavi said...

i love those ingredients pooja.We get very good malabari chicken curry.
Bookmarked it.

Pooja said...

Thanks Divya, Lubna, Valarmathi & Varunavi :)

Vrinda said...

Oh look at the color ,mouth watering...V also add coconuts in chicken curry,not only in chicken curry in almost everything ...Hav a great weekend..

Pooja said...

Thanks Vrinda..Have a great weekend :)

Sweta said...

I love chicken and keep experimenting with different recipes.This is great-I will blindly eat anything with it's origins in Kerala!!

Pooja said...

Thanks Sweta..I do love Kerala recipes a lot :)

Smitha said...

I have a similar recipe. WIll post it later. Glad to know that u are fond of kerala cuisine.
Cheers on that note:)

Pooja said...

Thanks Smitha for dropping by.Waiting to see the post in your blog :)

Anita :) said...

Dear Pooj....
I've never made chicken curry before... cos u already know that I wasnt very interested in cooking. After marriage I learnt all veg dishes, breakfast dishes etc on my own, taking suggestions from Mummy and chechi.. Non veg was always done by my husband. Today as he was at office, I dropped by ur blog cos I was sure there'll be our style of chicken recipe in it and came across this one. I went to get some grocery and ingredients specifed over here.. and started with it. Pooj, u have a very very good and appreciable way to explain things, in ways understandable by people like me. I did everything step by step as in the recipe, and it came out really really well... Well, this is a compliment from my husband u see :) Thanks a ton Pooj...ur recipe is simply delicious...!! AM seriously gonna follow ur recipes going forward:) Thanks a ton! Muah!

Pooja said...

Hey very happy to hear that you liked it. Thanks for trying it out. Yeah I can understand ur situation..I was in a similar situation before. Lots of trials and errors happened and its not over yet! :D