Showing posts with label Kerala. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kerala. Show all posts

Apr 7, 2016

Malabar Style Chicken Curry

Malabar Style Chicken Curry

On the southwestern coast of India lies the beautiful region of Malabar. A lush tropical paradise long known as the "Land of Spices" that lies between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats. Malabar's astonishingly diverse cuisine is the result of the influence of Arabic, Syrian, Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese, and British spice traders over the centuries. A lavish use of spices, tart tamarind, and rich coconut are the hallmarks of Malabar cuisine. This boldly spiced brilliant red chicken curry is typical of Malabar's delicious dishes. Mellowed by sweet and sumptuous coconut milk the spices present as warmly aromatic rather than fiery hot. The sweet and sour tang of tamarind perfectly accentuates the combination of assertive flavors. This chicken curry is easy to make and it's rich gravy pairs well with steamed rice, chapattis, pulao, appam, or pathiri. 

1 kg/2lbs chicken, skinless, cut into 6-8 pieces
3 TBS cooking oil
2 onions, sliced into thin half moons
1 tsp salt
2 inch piece of cassia bark/dalchini (or cinnamon stick)
2 tomatoes, diced finely
2-3 green chilis/hari mirch, chopped
1 can coconut milk (400ml)
2 tsp tamarind paste
Mix for marinade:
3 TBS yogurt/dahi
2 TBS garlic paste
1 TBS ginger paste
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi
Grind to smooth paste for masala:
1 TBS lime juice
1 TBS water
3 whole star anise/phoolchakri
9 cloves/laung
15 black peppercorns/kali mirch
2 tsp Kashmiri mirch (or 1 tsp paprika + 1 tsp cayenne powder)
2 tsp ground coriander/dhania
2 tsp ground cumin/jeera
1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi

Here's what to do:
1) Mix yogurt, garlic, ginger, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp tumeric together for marinade. Coat all chicken pieces in marinade mix and place in sealable airtight container. Allow chicken to marinate for 30 minutes up to overnight in the refrigerator.

2) When ready to cook grind all ingredients listed under masala to smooth paste, and set aside. Heat oil in deep heavy bottomed skillet or kadhai and fry sliced onions with 1 tsp salt until just beginning to brown.

3) Add cassia bark/dalchini and ground masala paste to fried onions. Stir well and fry for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and green chilis, stir well and fry until tomatoes soften.

4) Add marinated chicken pieces to fried onion and masala mixture in pan. Allow chicken pieces to fry for 4 minutes on each side, the chicken should just be turning white. If masala mixture begins to stick or scorch reduce heat and add 1/4 C water.

5) Add can of coconut milk and teaspoon of tamarind paste to chicken and masala mixture in pan, stir well. Allow mixture to simmer uncovered over medium low heat for 20 to 25 minutes. If mixture begins to stick or scorch reduce heat and add 1/4 water.

6) When chicken has cooked through and oil separates from gravy your dish is ready. Salt to taste and serve.

Helpful Hints:

Never cook chicken in a pressure cooker, it gets a rubbery texture from the extreme, high heat.

If you don't have Kashmiri mirch a good substitute is 1/2 paprika plus 1/2 cayenne powder.

An interesting aside:
I have been notified that I have been nominated for the "Best Food Blog"  AND "Best New Blog" awards on the  nepaliaustralian blog so get on over there and vote for my blog if you choose at:

Be sure to check out all the other amazing blogs in all the different categories and vote for all your favorites!!! Winners will be announced in May.

Jan 21, 2016

Kerala Style Mutton Curry

A spicy, savory, and rich coconut milk based curry from the south coast of India. Quite simple to make but very delicious. If you're new to making curries, this is a great beginning recipe to try.  A family favorite, we enjoy this dish nearly once a week. This recipe also works well with lamb, beef or water buffalo.

1 kg/ 2lbs lean mutton/goat, cut into 3 inch pieces
3 TBS coconut oil or cooking oil of choice
1 C onions, sliced finely into half moons
3 green chilis/hari mirch, chopped 
1/2 C  tomatoes, finely diced
1/2 C cilantro/dhania, chopped & cleaned
1 can (400ml) coconut milk
Mix with 2 TBS water to make smooth paste:
1 TBS ginger/adrak paste
1 TBS garlic/lahsun paste
2 TBS ground coriander/dhania
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp Kashmiri mirch ( or 1 tsp paprika + 1 tsp cayenne) 
1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi
1 TBS lime juice
2 tsp salt

Here's what to do:

1) Make a paste of the ginger, garlic, coriander, garam masala, Kashmiri mirch, turmeric, lime juice, salt, and 2 TBS water. Set aside. 

2) Heat oil in pressure cooker, kadhai or deep heavy bottomed skillet for 5 minutes. Fry onions until just beginning to turn brown.
3) Add tomatoes and green chilis to onions in pan, fry for 5 to 7 minutes or until tomatoes are softened. 
4) Stir in spice paste and allow to fry for 3 minutes. Add meat pieces, stir well to coat meat in spice and onion mixture. Allow to fry for 5 minutes. 
5) Add chopped cilantro leaves, coconut milk, and 1/2 C water. Stir well and bring to simmer. If using pressure cooker: seal and allow to steam for 5-6 whistles for mutton/goat or water buffalo, 3 whistles for lamb or beef. Salt to taste and serve.

Helpful Hints:
If you do not have a pressure cooker and wish to make this recipe with mutton/goat or water buffalo, I would not cook it in a skillet or kadhai. It will take hours until the meat is tender. A better choice would be to use a crock pot or slow cooker after step six.

Making a paste of the powdered spices, ginger, and garlic with water and lime juice prevents scorching of the spices when added to hot oil.

This dish is a good example of the traditional "layering" of flavors in curries-
First the onions are browned a bit, then the tomatoes and green chilis are added and softened, then the spices are stirred in allowing them to mellow with the heat before adding the mutton. Finally the coconut and cilantro are stirred in. The flavors of all the various 'layers' are then melded together in the final cooking.

Oh I wanna go back to my little grass shack in Keralaaaa!!!
With the coconut trees blowin' in the breeze all dayyyy!!!

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