Thursday, 20 December 2012

Chicken with Red Chilies and Coconut Milk

This is a very quick update of a very quick recipe, perfect for this damp, chilly weather. It's a steaming, aromatic pot of fiery red chicken curry, tempered delightfully by the light tangy sweetness of coconut milk.

First, wash the chicken and marinate in salt, minced garlic, lemon juice and holud/turmeric. My greataunt has converted me to an ardent turmeric user this winter (I never did before). According to her, it practically cures cancer. Anyway. So you marinate the chicken, and let it steep for half an hour or so.

In the meanwhile, prep the spices. It's tres simple: take a handful of dry red chilies, depending on your personal threshold. You should use at least five, in my opinion. Personally, I use about twelve, plus a couple of green chilies to temper the flavour (dried red chilies have a harsh undercurrent that I don't enjoy). To this, add a level teaspoon of sugar (a little more if you prefer); three or four pinches of salt; about an inch of ginger, peeled; five or six gloves of garlic; three-fourths a large or one medium onion. Grind them together in a thick paste.

Now, the cooking. Lightly saute the chicken and then keep it aside. In the same wok, add a little more oil if you need it -- I'd prefer sunflower/canola for this dish -- and pour in the paste. There really shouldn't be more than a teaspoon of oil in the wok when the paste goes on, so you'll have to cook it on a simmering flame. Once the paste becomes lightly fried and fragrant, add almost a whole teaspoon each of cumin and coriander powders, or half a teaspoon each of their homemade paste. Cook the entire paste till the oil separates from it, and then add four or so tablespoons of coconut milk. Scrape up the sides of the wok. Taste the simmering mixture for salt/sugar balance. Make adjustments. (Some say dark soya sauce is wonderful in this mix as well, but I've never tried it.)

Now, add the sauted chicken back into the wok. If the flavour of coconut milk in large quantities is too overpowering for you, add water enough to immerse the chicken. Cover and cook till tender. If you're not averse to the flavour, add more coconut milk and just a little water. Cover and etc. When the chicken's done and you still have too much gravy left -- unlikely -- then boil it off at medium flame. When it's reached the consistency you want, turn off the heat, sprinkle half a teaspoon of garam masala powder (slightly less if home-ground and potent), mix it in, and cover. Let it infuse for a few minutes. Serve with steaming rice :-)

It. is. deee. licious.

1 comment:

Suresh Urs said...

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