Naadan Chicken Curry(with coconut based gravy)

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Naadan chicken curry: Why I thought of calling this ‘Naadan’ which means native, is because of the usage of coconut in the preparation of this curry. There are very few items in Kerala that are prepared without coconut based things. Be it fresh coconut, coconut milk or coconut oil, most dishes will use atleast one of these 🙂

It is not a very popular dish in our house, but I realized off late that it goes very well with Kerala porotta. If you go to local small food places in Kerala or even Tamil Nadu, they give porotta with this coconut based chicken curry and it tastes yummm!!! Some of the food combinations are soo irreplaceable 🙂 Like Biryani and raita, Kappa and Meen curry, Appam and Mutta curry. This has one such combination for me now, Kerala porotta and naadan chicken curry 😀

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INGREDIENTS:

Boneless chicken – 200 gms
Shallots – 10-12 nos or Onion – 1 no
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Garlic – 5-6 pods
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Garam masala – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – 2 strands
Potato – 2 nos, medium sized, cubed
Green chilli – 2 nos
Tomato – 1/2 no
Coconut milk(thick) – 5 tbsp
Coriander leaves – 5 strands
Salt – to taste(apprx. 1.5 tsp)

To grind:-

Coriander seeds – 5 tsp
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch
Cardamom – 2 no
Cloves – 4-5 nos
Fennel seeds – 1/4 tsp(optional)
Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
Black pepper – 1/4 tsp
Shredded coconut – 1/2 cup(apprx.)

METHOD:

1. Lightly roast the ingredients mentioned under ‘To grind’ section and grind them into a fine paste.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Put mustard seeds and once it crackles, add crushed ginger and garlic.
3. Once it turns light brown,add curry leaves, sliced shallots, chopped green chilli and half the salt.
4. Saute till shallots are cooked. Then add the ground mix, garam masala, turmeric powder and red chilli powder.
5. Saute till the spices cook well. Then add chopped tomatoes and saute till the oil starts to separate.
6. Then add chicken pieces(cubed into 2 inch pieces), cubed potatoes and the remaining salt. Let it cook covered. Add little water if required.
7. Once chicken is done, add coconut milk and stir well. Add water to bring it to the desired consistency.
8. Cook in medium flame for few mins, stirring frequently(the coconut milk can split if you don’t). Bring it to boil and remove from heat. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with Kerala porotta, chappati or Appam!

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Chicken curry

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I have had many chicken curries from so many places. In restaurants, at friend’s places and so many places like that. Some of them taste so good that you want to try making it and having it again. But there are certain things which cannot be replaced. For me, when I hear chicken curry, the first and best I can remember is my dad’s chicken curry. I have to say, ever since I remember, in my house, chicken curry was made only by my dad. This is his signature dish and how much ever my mom and now me, have attempted to copy this signature dish of his, it hasn’t been very successful 😦

Not that my dad used to cook often, but there are couple of his special dishes which only he can make and make it the best:-) One of those is most definitely this chicken curry. Made mostly once in a week, whenever it is the ‘dad special’ dinner time, he would walk in royally as a master chef and there in the kitchen are his helpers(mom and me) doing all the prep work 😉 (You know, all the cutting and chopping and cleaning work 😉 ) I remember the jealousy in mom’s face when he would get all the credit for the dish whereas it would be her who would have put more effort and work 😡 hehe!!

Well, I was so keen on making this as close as it could get to what he prepares. So I applied the main trick for the success of this dish, which is, ‘patience’ :-P. You need quite some patience to get it ‘just right’. Though I am late by couple of days, this is my special post for ‘Father’s Day’ 🙂

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INGREDIENTS

Chicken(with bone) – 3/4 kg or 1.5 lbs
Onion – 2 medium sized
Shallots – 4-5 nos
Garlic – 7-8 pods
Ginger – 1.5 inch
Green chilli – 3 nos
Potato – 1 nos
Tomato – 1 nos
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 & 3/4 tsp
Garam masala – 1/4 tsp
Chicken masala – 3/4 tsp
(any store bought masala. We use Eastern chicken masala)
Sugar – 1/4 tsp
Salt – to taste (apprx. 1/2 tsp)
Yogurt – 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves – 3-4 strands
Oil – 2 tbsp

METHOD

1. Marinate chicken with 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, yogurt and little salt and refrigerate for atleast couple of hours.
2. Crush ginger and garlic together using pestle and mortar. Grind 1 onion into a smooth paste. Also, make puree of the tomato and keep these aside.
3. In a sauce pan, heat oil and put crushed ginger and garlic. When it turns golden brown, add chopped onion, salt and chopped green chillis.
4. Saute onion for few mins and then add the onion paste also. Let it cook well in medium flame.
5. Letting the onion cook in a low medium flame is one of the key steps of this preparation because, how long and how well the onion has cooked determines the taste of the curry. This is where I told about the trick you need to apply(patience 😉 ).
6. Add halt cut/quartered shallots. Keep stirring the mix so that it doesn’t stick to the pan.
7. Once the onion mix turns nice brown and completely cooked that it reaches a level of melting, add remaining turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala and the chicken masala.
8. Let the masala cook well. If you think the masala is sticking to the pan, you could sprinkle little water at this point.
9. At this point, add sugar. Adding sugar helps in the proper binding of the masalas.
10. Once the oil separates, add tomato puree. Saute well till the tomato cooks well.
11. Then add the marinated chicken pieces and cubed potatoes.
12. Saute for some time without adding water. The chicken will leave out some water and the chicken has to cook in less water and in low flame. Whenever you think that the mixture is too dry, add some water little by little.
13. After sauteing the mix for 10-15 mins, add the amount of water required to make the gravy of the consitency you would like.
14. You could wait till the chicken cooks completely in this manner. Or an alternate way is: After sauteing the mix for 10-15 mins, once the chicken is nicely covered with all the masalas, you could transfer the mix to a pressure cooker and give a whistle and the keep in simmer for 5 mins and take if off the stove.
15. Once chicken is cooked and ready, garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Goes well with chappati/roti.