Spicy Kerala Chicken Curry

I came across this recipe while scouring the YouTube for Chicken curries cooked the Kerala way. The video was shot entirely in Malayalam (predominant language spoken in Kerala) and I am Malayalam-illiterate. But one look at the process and I was already drooling.
It tastes mind-blowing more than it looks; not to forget the super-easy part.
spicy-kerala-chicken-curryPreparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
For curry:

500 gm chicken
3 medium size onions, sliced
2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
10-12 cloves of garlic. Leave them whole
2 green chilies, slit (those thin, dark ones are really hot. So use accordingly)
1 medium size tomato, sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp coriander powder
2 tbsp red chili powder (Alter as per your spice-tolerance level)
1 tsp black pepper powder
1/2 tsp fennel seeds powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
3 – 4 tbsp coconut oil
Salt as per taste
1/2 to 1 cup water, as per the desired thickness

For tempering:
1 tbsp coconut oil
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
3 dried red chilies, broken
2 green chilies, slit
8-9 curry leaves

Method:
For Curry:
1. Heat oil in a kadhai or a heavy bottomed pan.
2. Add onions, chilies, ginger and garlic. Fry till soft and translucent.
3. Add all the spice powders and saute for one minute.
4. Toss in the tomatoes and fry till soft.
5. Now add water, sprinkle salt and bring it to boil. Now reduce the flame and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture turns into a thick gravy.
6. Slowly tumble in the chicken pieces. Stir, so they are all coated in the gravy.
7. Let the curry simmer for around 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked.

For tempering:
1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a separate pan.
2. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
3. Now add the curry leaves, green and red chilies and fry on slow flame for a bit. Red chilies tend to burn soon. So take care here.

Now add this tempered mixture to the simmering curry and cook for another 3-4 minutes till the curry is flavored.
Serve with steamed rice and a wedge of lime.

P.S.: *You will also enjoy it with Appams – Kerala style pancakes made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk.
In Sri Lanka, they are known as Hoppers.
*Coconut oil is the stellar ingredient here. All the flavor that the curry has, is because of the coconut oil. Do not use any other oil for this recipe except this one. 
*Do not add too much of water in Step 5. You don’t want a really runny curry.
More water can always be added in Step 7. This way you get your desired consistency and also save your curry.
* Alter the amount of green chilies and chili powder as per you tolerance level.

 

Tangy Tomato Rice

Tomato Rice… this tangy, one-pot recipe is a breakfast/lunch/dinner staple in any South Indian household. No side dishes necessary, you can enjoy the best of it with just the papadum or raita and an equally tangy sour pickle. Gosh! My tastebuds have got the goose-bums already 😛  It used to be a tiffin-regular of my Keralite friend, thus the recipe. I remember exchanging my tiffin with hers so that I could gobble down all of it alone, without a thread of shame 😛
Tomato Rice
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:
1 cup (250 gm) cooked basmati rice
3 big size tomatoes, finely chopped
1 medium size onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
2 green chilies, chopped
2 heaped tsps kashmiri chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
2 tsps coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsps mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
5-6 curry leaves
1 bay leaf
4 cloves
1/2 stick of cinnamon
3 cardamom pods
Asafoetida, a pinch
Oil for frying
Salt for seasoning

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
  2. Add asafoetida and mustard seeds and let them temper.
  3. Add cumin and fenugreek seeds.
  4. Now add the whole spices – cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf and fry till they release their aroma.
  5. Add curry leaves, chopped green chilies and stir for a bit.
  6. Tumble in the onions and fry till soft and translucent.
  7. Add the ginger-garlic paste and stir till the raw smell of ginger goes away.
  8. Add tomatoes and cook till they turn soft and mushy.
  9. Add the spice powders – kashmiri chili powder, turmeric, coriander, cumin and black pepper. Add salt and fry on medium till the oil starts separating at the sides. Lid on and cook on for 3-4 minutes till the tomatoes and onions look completely dissolved in each other..
  10. Spoon in the cooked rice and mix gently with fork till the entire rice is coated with this super-tangy spice mix. Don’t use spoon here as spoon tends to break the rice.

P.S: Serve with plain yogurt / raita / crispy papadum and pickle. Once cooled completely, it can be refrigerated for up to 4-5 days in an air-tight container.