Kozhi Karri (Kerala Chicken Curry)

If you own The Suriani Kitchen, you must cook out of it. Besides, what are Saturday evenings for? I tried this chicken curry from the book. And it was as good as any good Mallu recipe. This is probably just me, but I think they OD on coconut in their cooking. It’s perfectly understandable. But it can get to you, if you’re going to do three weekends straight of Suriani cuisine. The recipe is, in a lot of ways, like Ma’s meen curry. Whole spices and a tangy touch, at the end.

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(The recipe typed out below is straight out of the book. I tweaked it here and there, when I was cooking:
– A coarse spice mixture instead of a ground one because I didn’t have a mixer-grinder then
– Just regular Maggi coconut milk powder + water, instead of two varieties of coconut milk
– Regular vegetable oil, instead of coconut oil
– Finely chopped onions instead of shallots because I didn’t have any at hand
– reducing all the ingredients to a fourth because I was cooking only for myself. )

Ingredients:
(Serves 4)
Curry:
1/4 cup oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon ginger paste
2 tablespoons garlic paste
1 chicken (1.5 kg) cut into 12 pieces
4 cups water
4 cups thin coconut milk
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup thick coconut milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
6 shallots, thinly slices
6 curry leaves
1 tablespoon lime juice

Spice Paste:
(Grind to a smooth paste)
1/4 cup ground coriander
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 cup water

Spice Powder:
(Warm spices slightly in a small, dry skiller and then grind into a powder)
2 (1-inch) cinnamon sticks
6 cloves
4 cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon aniseed
1 teaspoon black peppercorn

Method:
1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions and fry for 1 minute, until soft and transparent.
2. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry for 1 minute.
3. Add the spice paste and the spice powder and fry over low heat, stirring continuously, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the oil rises to the top.
4. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 3 to 5 minutes, until the pieces are coated with the spice mixture.
5. Add the water, thin coconut milk and the salt.
6. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes with the lid on.
7. When the chicken is tender, add the thick coconut milk and cook for a few more minutes.
8. Heat the coconut oil in a small skillet and add the mustard seeds. When they burst, add the shallots and the curry leaves and fry until golden brown.
9. Pour over the curry and stir in the lime juice.

DSC_0378
(attempt at artsy photography)

I made parottas to go with. They’re fairly simple. My lachcha paratha recipe should do the trick. Parottas are made entirely of maida, which is why they’re super fluffy and crumbly, at the same time. But why use all purpose flour, when wheat flour gives you pretty good results too, right? It’s a fairly thick curry, which is why I’d suggest a bread.

But steamed rice works wonders too, because I had some left over curry the following afternoon for lunch. And being too lazy to make chapatis that afternoon, I steamed some rice with a couple of star anise and a blob of ghee. Needless to say, the curry and rice combination was fantastic too!

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