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
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
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: