Let me introduce you to a very special, close to my heart recipe of Nadan Kozhi Curry- Kerala Chicken Curry.There are so many different ways in which Chicken is cooked in Kerala.Frankly it’s overwhelming! There is Chicken Stew, Kerala Chicken Roast, Trivandrum Fried Chicken, Chicken Peralen,i can probably go on and on. Nadan Chicken Curry is the most basic, no frills Kerala Chicken Curry that’s made in most Malabar households.
In fact ,Nadan Kozhi Curry translates to Village Chicken Curry- which is made with the most basic ingredients available easily in their own backyard, including the country chicken , which is said to have a lot more flavour and robustness than the easily available broiler Chicken.
No prizes for guessing what the main ingredient of a Kerala Chicken Curry will be.Obviously it has Coconut- more specifically Coconut milk, which ideally, is freshly extracted from coconut flesh.
How to make Coconut Milk at home
We use a lot of coconut milk at home.I use it to make – Mangalorean Prawn Curry,add to my morning breakfast Chia Puddings , Kerala Prawn Curry, Soups like Tom Kha Gai & Thai Green Curry.It’s probably safe to say that I love coconut milk based curries and porridges.
Coconut milk can be made quite easily with fresh coconut.All you need to do is break open the coconut, get the flesh, add it in the blender along with 2 cups of water.Strain the water using a sieve,lightly press and you have the first thick extract of coconut.The second extract is made the same way by adding 2 cups of water to the left over coconut, blending it again in the food processor and straining the coconut.
Though making your own coconut milk will be so much more flavourful and fresh, it is not always possible to use it.More often than not, we are running against time and modern luxuries of canned coconut milk help us make the curry without breaking a leg(errr coconut I mean).You may use the canned coconut milk as it is to substitute first extract.The second extract is usually thinned down version of the first, hence add 1 part canned coconut milk to 1 part water and your second extract of coconut milk is ready.
- 1 Kg Chicken on the bone- Cut into medium size
- 3 Onions- Chopped
- 6 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Inch Ginger
- 1 Green Chilli
- 1 Cups Thick Coconut Milk-First extract*
- 3 Cups Thin- Coconut Milk- second extract**
- 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- Salt to Taste
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 6 Cloves
- 6 Cardamom Pods
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
- 1 tsp Black peppercorns
- 4 Red Chillies
- 1/4 Cup Coriander Seeds
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 6 Shallots sliced
- 10-12 Curry Leaves
Lightly roast the whole spices listed under Masala- Cinnamon,cloves,cardamom,cumin,fennel seeds, peppercorns,chillies & Coriander on low flame till an aroma rises out of them and the coriander seeds toast.Set to cool.Grind to a fine powder.
Make a paste of the Ginger,Garlic and Chilli.Alternatively use 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste with chilli slight across the Center.
Heat a heavy pot.Add the coconut oil.
Spoon in the onions and cook till translucent.Next,Add the ginger garlic chilli paste.
Cook for about 1-2 minutes.
Sprinkle in the Dry Masala and roast the onions and masala for about 3-4 minutes.
Now add the chicken and mix well.Coating the Chicken with the onion masala.
Cook and brown the chicken for 5-10 minutes.
Pour in the 3 cups of thin extract.Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Add the thick coconut milk,Stir the curry well and let it cook open for 5 minutes.If you want to thicken the gravy cook on high flame for a few more minutes.
Heat the coconut oil in a small pan/Kadhai.
As it starts smoking, add the thinly sliced shallots & Curry Leaves.Give it a Stir to mix everything.
When the onions start to brown, switch off the gas and pot the tempering over the prepared Curry.
Serve hot along with Rice or Appams.
1 Cups Thick Coconut Milk-First extract*
Blend 2 cups of fresh coconut with 1 cup of water.Strain the coconut and you get the first extract-Thick coconut Milk
3 Cups Thin- Coconut Milk- second extract**
After extracting the thick coconut milk- Blend the left over coconut with 3 cups of water.Strain the coconut and you get the Second extract-Thin coconut Milk
Storebought Canned Coconut Milk
Use the equal amount of canned coconut milk instead of the first extract.Dilute 1 Cup of canned coconut milk with 2 cups of water to get the thin second Extract
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