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Showing posts with label spicy chicken recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spicy chicken recipe. Show all posts

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Chichen Salna (or Chicken Chalna)

Before I ventured into blogging, I was a total stranger when it came to South Indian cuisine. Ofcourse, there was the occasional dosa, idli, uttapam and the usual accompaniments like sambhar and chutney. But that is just about the tip of the iceberg. Everything was labelled 'South Indian' with no distinctions being made between regions like Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Karnataka and Kerela, leaving no scope or mention of the diversity that exists within each region.

But the exposure that I recieved over the last 5 years has truely transformed me.  Today I know what people mean when they say that food knows no language or barriers. Now when I prepare some of these dishes at home and enjoy them, I truly appreciate and admire the people who created them. Small details like why some cuisine uses an abundance of a particular ingredient or why a curry is so laden with spices and condiments become clear when you have more insight on the lives/culture of the people belonging to that particular region. For example, the very rich and aromatic Chettinad curries owe their origin to the opulent Chettiar traders who obviously had very deep pockets to be able to afford such luxury. But the Chicken Salna in contrast was meant for the working class people and hence the sparing use of spices, a
watery consistency and sometimes the use of potatoes to add volume. (The roadside stalls obviously do not use expensive poppy seeds or cashews to thicken the gravy but instead use thickening agents like besan/cornflour).

A few years back, I could only think of a Macher Jholo/Besara or a Mutton/Chicken Kasa/Jholo when I needed to cook for a Friday dinner or a Sunday lunch. But now my repertoire of non-vegetarian dishes has only been enriched by the addition of such delicacies. Hence I feel the need to share/blog such dishes as I believe that food would win hands down as the medium of national integration (but how do we sell such an idea to our politicos who are busy playing the caste/regional card ??). Read on the recipe for my version of the Chicken Salna:

Preparation Time - 40 mins

Ingredients - 1/2 kg chicken cut into medium sized pieces, 1 large onion finely chopped, 1 small tomato finely chopped, 1 tsp GG paste, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 sprig curry leaves, 2 tbsp oil, salt to taste, fresh coriander leaves for garnishing.

For the masala paste - 5 shallots, 1 1/2 tbsp coriander roots, 1 green chilli, 4 tsp freshly grated coconut, 5-6 cashews + ( 3 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp poppy seeds, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp peppercorns - to be dry roasted first )

Preparation - Wash and marinate the chicken pieces with salt and turmeric.

Heat a tawa or any flat bottomed vessel. Dry roast all the ingredients mentioned in the masala paste.
Allow to cool down. Transfer to a grinder cup. Grind into fine powder (as fine as possible).
Add the remaining ingredients of the masala paste along with 3-4 tsp water. Grind into a paste. (Add little more water if needed)

Cooking - Heat oil in a kadai. Add the curry leaves first and allow to crisp a bit. Then add onions and fry to a medium brown.

Add GG paste and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the marinated chicken along with chilli powder. Roast/Fry on a high flame for 4-5 minutes. Then lower flame and cover with lid till half cooked.

In the meantime, fry the tomato pieces with a little oil till it is completely mushy.

Add the cooked tomatoes to the chicken along with the masala paste. Mix well and fry on medium to high flame for 3-4 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups boiling water and adjust salt. Cook on a simmer till chicken is completely cooked through.

Serve hot with parottas/rotis or even with white rice as I did.

Note -  You can make the gravy still watery if you like, especially when having it with hot rice.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Chettinad Chicken

I did it. Chettinad Chicken has been on my 'To-Do' list for the longest possible time. And I had kept on procrastinating till i ran out of gravy chicken recipes. A quick look at my drafts revealed quite a few recipes that I had bookmarked for sometime. And the first one happened to be this rich and delectable South indian style curry.

Chettinad happens to be a part of the state of Tamil Nadu and it is quite known for its rich and aromatic cuisine. A flourishing traders community known as the 'Chettiars' are attributed with the distinct 'Chettinad Cuisine'. The famous saying in South India 'One is lucky to eat like a Chettiar' bears testimony to the rich culinary heritage of this region. And Chettinad Chicken happens to be one of the more (if not the most) famous non-vegetarian recipes from this region. Read on:

Preparation Time - 50 mins - 1 hr

Ingredients -1/2 kg skinless chicken, 1 large onion + 1 medium sized onion, 1 large tomato, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp lime juice, 5 tsp oil, 2 tsp ginger garlic paste, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, salt to taste, chopped coriander for the garnish.

For the masala - 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tbsp poppy seeds, 2 red chillis, 1 tsp peppercorns, 1/2 inch cinnamon, 2 cloves, 1 green cardamon, 1 petal of star anise, 1 petal of mace, 1 pinch nutmeg, 3 tbsp freshly grated coconut.

Preparation - Marinate the chicken with salt, turmeric and lime juice. Keep aside for 1-2 hours.

Cut the onion into thin slices. Chop the tomato into small pieces.

Cooking - Dry roast all the masalas except for star anise, mace, nutmeg and coconut. (Better to roast each masala/spice separately till it gives off its distinct fragrance but if one is running short of time roast them together taking care not to burn any of it.)

Dry roast the coconut separately. Allow all the roasted masalas and coconut to cool down. Then combine and grind into a coarse powder. Add the ginger garlic paste to this powder.

Heat the oil in a wok. Add curry leaves and sliced onions. Fry on low flame till onion turns light brown.

Add the masala paste along with nutmeg, mace and star anise. Fry for 3 minutes.

Add the tomato pieces with chilli powder and a little salt. Cook till tomatoes turn tender and start to leave oil.

Add the chicken pieces. Cook covered on medium to high flame for 5-6 minutes,stirring once or twice in between.

Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of boiling water to the chicken. Simmer for 5-6 minutes or till the chicken pieces are tender.

Switch off flame and garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot with paratha/appam or even white rice.

Note - I used only 2/3 of the total ground masala as i find it rather spicy. But u can modify the quantity of masala as per taste.

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