One of my past time favorite dishes is Kerala Chicken Curry. Kerala is known as the “Land of Spices”. Like the unique cultural and natural heritage of the state, the cuisines of Kerala are also unique and special.
The Kerala cuisine is known for its spicy and hot foods. The food is generally fresh, aromatic and flavored, Keralites are mostly fish-and-rice eating people. Sea food is popular among Malayalees. “Karimeen” or fried fish is a famous dish as is fish curry called “Fish Moilee.”
The evolution of the culinary style of Kerala can be traced to the society, culture, history and topography of the state. Almost every dish prepared in Kerala has coconut and spices to flavor the local cuisine giving it a sharp pungency that is heightened with the use of tamarind, while coconut gives it its richness, absorbing some of the tongue-teasing, pepper-hot flavors. Coconut milk is used to create a tasty gravy and lends a sweet tinge to the cooking. The oil used for cooking also is mainly coconut or vegetable oil.
Here is a favorite dish of the Keralites, the Kerala Chicken Curry.
- Chicken – 750 gms (cut into medium sized pieces)
- Onion (finely chopped) – 4 nos
- Tomato (chopped) 3 nos
- Green chillies slit – 3 nos
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Garlic paste – 1 tsp
- Ginger paste – 1 tsp
- Chilly powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 1 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Coconut oil – 4 tsp
- Cloves – 2 nos
- Coconut milk – 1 cup
- curry leaves – 1 stalk
- Salt – as required
- Heat coconut oil in a pan.
- Splutter mustard seeds.
- Add ginger and garlic paste till the raw smell disappears.
- Add Green chilly, chopped onion, curry leaves and sauté for some time till the onions turn golden brown.
- Add chopped tomatoes and salt and sauté few minutes till the tomatoes are crushed into a paste.
- Add red chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, Garam masala powder, cloves and stir fry few minutes.
- Add chicken pieces , mix well and stir for few minutes.
- Add water as required and salt to taste.
- After about 15 minutes, when chicken fully cooked add coconut milk and boil for 1 or 2 minutes.
- Garnish with curry leaves and chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with rice, chappathi, paratha or idiyappam.