Thursday, 10 January 2013

Murg Kolhapuri/ Chicken Kolhapuri

The word Kolhapuri brings to my mind two things - Kolhapuri sandals that most of my friends had during college days and the famous Bollywood actress, Padmini Kolhapuri, from the 1980s. My relationship with Kolhapuri ended there until one day, my husband started talking about a well spiced, hot and ferociously red chicken curry that he ate from restaurants at Pune.
Note the point - GC hates chicken (the broiler variety) with a passion because, to quote him, "It is just bland without any flavours". (No, I do not believe in it :) ). So, if he has to crave for a chicken curry, there should be something special in it. However, I was left with a very "minor" problem here - he didn't remember the name of the curry. With his description of the boldness and spiciness of the curry, my quest for a truly tantalising, spine tingling curry commenced which introduced me to Kolhapuri cuisine, a famous cuisine from the city of Kolhapur situated in the southwest part of the state of Maharashtra, India.

Chicken Kolhapuri is one of the Tambda Rassa (Red Curry) from Kolhapur, the others being Pandhara Rassa (White Curry), Sukha (Dry) and Missal (a type of snack). The recipe followed here is from Soma's but changed to suit Australian measurements. It goes well with rice and rotis.
But once you lick your plate clean of this intensely flavoured fiery curry, debate on whether you need a glass of fresh lime juice to cool down your palate or a cup of hot tea to re-ignite your taste buds.

I vote for extra hot tea; which one will you vote for?

Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 15 minutes + time for marinating chicken
Cooking Time: 1 hour + time to fry chicken

For marinating and frying chicken
  • 1 kg chicken thigh and legs, cut into 2 inch size
  • 1 1/2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 3 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp kashmiri red chilly powder (adjust to suit your taste)
  • 2 - 3 tbsp Goda Masala (follow link for recipe)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup oil
For the main sauce
  • 3 large onions, sliced into half moons
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 3 inch fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 200 ml thick coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup oil (as required - see step 2 below).
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves with stem, tightly packed + extra to garnish
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dessicated dry coconut
  • 1 - 2 tbsp goda masala (adjust to suit your taste)
  • 1 cup fresh tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup water
1. Mix all ingredients under "For marinating and frying chicken", except oil. Cover with a plastic wrap and leave to marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours (over night works best). Heat oil and fry chicken pieces until light brown. (If you are frying chicken in batches you may need more oil).
2. Remove the browned chicken pieces from the pan and to the oil left in the pan, add more oil (up to 1/4 cup) depending on the amount of oil left. Add onions, ginger, garlic, sugar and salt till onions turn light brown and starts to caramelise. Remove from fire and let it cool. Transfer half of the onion mixture to a blender along with coriander leaves, coconut, goda masala, tomato puree, water and blend until smooth.  
3. Heat the remaining half of the onion mixture, add chicken and mix well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. You may add a few tablespoons of water at this stage. Add half of the pureed onion and spice mixture and stir through. Cover and simmer over medium heat until the sauce reduces to three-quarters. Then add remaining of the pureed onion-spice mixture, mix well and cook at low heat until chicken pieces are tender. Add coconut milk and bring to boil over high heat and continue cooking until oil begins to separate. The gravy should be thick but not dry.
It is best served after a few hours of cooking; a minimum of 8 hours is the best. 


  1. Looks spicy & flavorful,don't mind having the whole platter & sipping a glass of lime to cool down :)
    Join EP event-Nutmeg OR Parsley @ Chef Mireille's Global Creations

  2. looking yummy and have combined flavors.

  3. Thank you so much for giving it a try and it makes me immensely happy that you have enjoyed it. It was really sweet of you to ask my permission!! TC

  4. Chicken looks delicious! I've never heard of this dish...

  5. Chicken is looking very delicious....very new recipe to me. :-)

  6. Wow mouthwatering chicken..looks so flavorful and yummy.

  7. Wow, that seriously looks wonderful! Spicy & delicious chicken curry, my mouth is watering right now :)

  8. this masala is my favorite one I always brought store brough and make veg kohlapiri, thanks to you no need to buy it anymore. gravy is amazing.

  9. I love chicken ,lovely clicks.Goda masala should try it.

  10. Wow that looks too delicious, would love to dig in with some rotis :)

  11. Thanks for stopping by.Happy to follow you.

  12. This kolhapuri chicken looks really yummy and mouthwatering. BTW, I love your presentation of this, the procedures are well-explained and easy to follow. Good job and thanks for sharing :)