It's been quite a while since I last posted here. I do go through occasional pangs of guilt when I see how deligently some of my food blogger friends keep their blogs going. So much care goes into the high resolution pictures, the side panels with their up to date blog tools and apps etc etc. Well, well... here is a quick one while the guilt trip lasts.
This recipe is inspired by my eldest paternal aunt, my dad's eldest brother's wife (valiya peramma). She was the one from whom I learnt that the 'readymade chicken masalas' that throng the supermarket aisles were in no way necessary to get that 'authenic kerala kozhi curry' (chicken curry) taste. Since then, i've experimented with fresh spices and slowly my taste buds learnt to despise the store bought masala as inferior.
No dificult elbow grease required for this one (have I told you what a LAZY cook I am). Happy cooking, buddies...
Fresh chicken pieces - 1 Kg
Tomatos - 2 medium sized (Cubed)
Onions - 2 medium sized (chopped fine)
Fresh Ginger - a large piece ( 2-3 inches or so)
Garlic - 10 cloves
Tomato paste - 2 dessertspoons
Red chilli powder - 2 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon
Grind the ginger and garlic to paste.
Cloves - 4 Nos
Cinnamon - 1/4 inch stick
Nutmeg - a little piece ( I bring back whole nutmeg from my mom in law's garden, if you cant get whole, use powdered)
Mace - a couple of strands
Poppy seeds (khus khus) - 1/2 teaspoon
Fennel - 1/4 teaspon
Cumin - 1/4 teaspoon
Pepper corns - a few
Star anise - 1 No
Mustard seeds - a few
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1 dessertspoon
Dry roast all the whole spices, on low flame, till an aroma emanates. Add in the turmeric owder and teh coriander powder and dry saute for another minute. Cool and blend to smooth powder using a chutney mixie jar or coffee grinder.
For the tempering (tadka)
Gingelly/coconut oil - 2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves - a few sprigs
Heat a heavy bottomed pan ( I skip non stick pans and prefer heavy guage steel, dutch oven models). Add the oil and the mustard seeds and allow the seeds to crackle well Add in the curry leaves and then the ginger-garlic paste. Saute till golden and then add the chopped onions, sprinkle the sugar and saute till golden. Add teh tomatoes and saute a couple of minutes. Add in the chicken pieces, the powdered spice masala, and the chilli powder. Add a cup of water. Put the lid on and simmer cook on very low fire, stirring once in a while. Once the chicken in almost done, add the tomato paste plus another cup of water if you want a slightly runny gravy. Once done, add salt to taste and simmer a minute.
4 hours ago