Chicken Stew – Kerala Style
Food from the coastal region & me have always shared a bond… makes me feel at home instantly… food from Kerala is even more special as it brings back fond memories… I had an awesome bunch of roommates/flatmates from Kerala back in Bangalore when I was unmarried. We used to have crazy girl parties.. sometimes with takeaway food to munch & binge on or the times we were all enthusiastic we would get back from work.. cook ourselves.. :)) How I miss those fun times…
This stew is very a dish from Kerala.. & eaten usually for breakfast along with some hot Appams (soft fluffy savoury pancakes made with a batter from fermented rice & coconut). Yes, you can also have them with bread. There is a veg version to this stew. Substitute the chicken with some mix veggies like – carrots, green beans, garden peas & potatoes.
My aunt lives in Kerala & she was supposed to pass on the recipe for this dish. But out of sheer coincidence my school friend Rashmi happened to send this recipe a few days back when we were discussing food… :) It was strange to discuss recipes with girls whom you have had other topics to chatter about when in school.. Made me feel wow.. how years have flown by…
I made some adjustments to the recipe she passed on…added some fennel seeds as I remember this flavour in the stew & some cashew nut powder to make it a little creamier.. :)
Making Appams require a special kind of vessel & requires a stove with a gas burner. Unfortunately here I have a hob with hot plates hence cannot make Appams. But yes, I will surely make them when I get a chance. For now I had to make K eat this with bread..
If you want to you can also add carrots to the chicken version along with the potatoes. I ran out of carrots & moreover K does not really like cooked carrots.
Ingredients: (Serves 4) Preparation Time (25 – 30 mins)
Chicken – 500 gms, on the bone or boneless, whatever you prefer. I used chicken breast pieces cut into wedge-sized pieces
Potatoes – 2 medium-sized, peeled & cubed
Green chilli’s – 3, slit
Onion – 1 large, thinly sliced
Ginger – a small piece, finely chopped
Garlic – 4-5 cloves, finely chopped
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs, roughly about 15 leaves
Thick coconut milk – 2 cups,fresh tastes the best. Unfortunately I did not have fresh coconuts with me so I used 8 tbsp of coconut milk powder dissolved to make 2 cups of coconut milk.
Cashew paste/powder – 1 tsp
Corn flour – 1 tsp, dissolved in water
Coconut oil – 1.5 tbsp, coconut oil adds the authentic flavour to this dish. If you do not like the flavour added by coconut oil use sunflower oil/olive oil.
Salt to taste
Cinnamon – 3/4 inch piece
Cloves – 3
cardamom – 3 whole
Fennel seeds – 15 seeds
Whole peppercorns – about 15-20
Roughly powder all the dry whole spices using a pestle & mortar. Keep this aside.
Heat the coconut oil in a pot. When the oil is hot add the powdered dry spices. Fry for a minute. Next add the green chilli’s & fry it for a minute. Add the curry leaves. Now add the ginger, garlic & sauté for under a minute. Do not let the garlic turn brown. Add the chopped onions & sauté them. Add a pinch of salt to accelerate the onion frying time.
When the onions turn translucent, add the potatoes & toss them around. Next add the chicken pieces. Toss them around for a minute or two. Add one cup of coconut milk, additionally add half a cup of water as well & simmer.
I apologise for this bad picture… My kitchen does not have any natural light & as much as I would love to carry the hot pot out into the living room & click, like I do many times, sometimes I don’t end up doing that. :(
Add salt to taste. Close the pot with a lid when the stew begins to bubble, close the pot with a lid & the chicken cook. The chicken would also let out some water & there would be enough water to cook the chicken.
Once the potatoes & chicken are almost cooked, say about 80% done, add the cashew powder & the other cup of coconut milk. Let the pot be still at low heat. Check & adjust salt. Let the stew come to a boil again. Once the chicken & potatoes are fully done, turn off the heat.
Garnish with some additional curry leaves.
Serve hot with some Appams or bread.
If you like this recipe you may also enjoy – Meen Molee/Boneless fish pieces in a fragrant Kerala style coconut curry, Grilled/Baked fish in Green Masala, Crispy Mussels etc.
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