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Kerala Chicken Curry

If you have never been to India, then this is the dish that sums up the wonderful state of Kerala. If you have been, then it should bring back some amazing memories. Mona Farrugia licks her lips.

 
Kerala Chicken Curry

Information

Main Ingredient Chicken
Preparation Time 30 minutes
Cooking Time Less than 1 hour
Course Main: Meat
Recipe Serves 4
Recipe Type Southern Indian
The brilliance of Kerala lies in its enchanting atmosphere, the wonderful lake and backwaters and in its curries, which make ample use of fragrant spices and the ever-available coconut. The latter balances out the fierceness of the spices, allowing for a gentle jolt to the senses which does not offend.

This here is a basic Keralan curry which I wrote after some training with the very patient Sous Chef of the Kumarakom Lake Resort, currently, and for the past three years, India’s number 1 resort. Considering what a massive country it is, this is high praise indeed. In fact, when The Writer and I stayed there we did not manage to eat a bad meal once: it was fabulous curries and breads every lunch and dinner.

This is one of those curries which comes in copious quantities of sauce. So when you end up with this at the end of the recipe, do not imagine that you have done something wrong. The Indians call this ‘gravy’. For those who like their rice, they use the ‘gravy’ to give the rice a nice kick. For the low-carbers, I always make a lentil (dhal) dish to go on the side.
Notes
This recipe can be adapted for 500 grams of crab, prawns, fish, chicken and even rabbit. It is only in the case of chicken and rabbit that one pre-cooks the meat. In all other cases, leave raw as the cooking time for the sauce is enough.
Method

You need:

500 cooked, deboned chicken meat

5 tablespoons coconut oil, for frying

 

To make a Kerala masala:

3 cardamom pods

3 cloves

9 pepper corns

Crush all together until you have a rough consistency and remove the cardamom skins

 

The rest:

¾ inch root ginger, cut into fine strips

2 cloves of garlic, chopped into fine strips

1 branch of curry leaves [from Arkadia – don’t worry if they are dry: they will rehydrate in the curry itself]

1 large sliced onion

3 teaspoons mustard seeds

2 teaspoons chilli powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon of kerala masala [see above]

1 cinnamon stick, preferably large (the Indians use the small ones for dessert dishes)

 

200ml of tomato passata

100ml chicken stock

200ml coconut milk

salt

 

How:

 

Fry all the dry ingredients including the chicken in the coconut oil on a medium heat. Then add the liquid ingredients (from the puree to the coconut milk) turn up the heat for 3 minutes and simmer gently until the sauce has thickened

 

 

Recipe written and devised by Mona Farrugia and the Executive Chef of the Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kerala.

Shopping Tips
Buy fresh spices. The ones that have been hanging around in your cupboard smell musty, because they are. So you will end up with a dull sauce.
Coconut oil or butter is available from Casa Natura, in High Street, Sliema
 

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oana
October 10, 2010
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This is just fantastic! Always a winner, great to eat with friends or family. Enjoy! I usually add a side dish of fresh mango with mint.

 
 
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