Monday, 17 September 2012

Chicken Curry (Kerala Style)

This is not "the" Kerala style chicken curry. This is only "a" Kerala style chicken curry; just one among the different styles of chicken curry that can labelled "from Kerala". There is nothing very exquisite about this curry except that I grew up eating this chicken curry. And measure for measure this is my Mum's recipe.

A while ago, I had mentioned in a post that I can never label any of my recipes here as my Mum's recipe to the dot. But this year, when my parents came visiting us in Melbourne, I insisted that my Mum make her curry. Now the lady she is, she never has a recipe to anything. She "looks" to determine the quantity of her ingredients and "thud" goes them into the pan. But before she could add the ingredients to the cooking pan, I asked her to place them on a plate for me. Then with my measuring cups and spoons, penned down the measurements and then allowed her to proceed with her cooking.

Poor Amma! This was the longest chicken curry she had ever prepared in her life.

Serves: 6 - 8
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes 

  • 1 kg chicken with bones, cut into curry size pieces (I use chicken thighs and drumsticks) 
  • 3 cups brown onion, sliced 
  • 4 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 10 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • 2 green chilly, chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 1/4 cup tomato, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp chilly powder
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp garam masala 
  • 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
1. In a deep casserole, heat oil and saute brown onion, ginger, garlic, green chilly, curry leaves and bay leaf till onion turns light brown in colour. Add coriander powder, chilly powder, pepper powder, salt, turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp garam masala and fry the spices over medium flame till aroma rises (around 2 minutes). Add chopped tomato, chicken pieces and 1/4 cup of water and mix well. (Adding water at this stage will allow liquid from inside chicken to flow out and form the base of the stock for the curry). Cover pan and cook over medium flame. When chicken is half done, add 1/2 cup of boiling water and continue to cook chicken till well done. If you want more gravy for the curry add boiling water as required at this stage, mix well and bring to boil. Just before switching off flame, add vinegar and remaining garam masala and mix well.

Serve hot with rice or chapathi.

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