Leelu's Keralan Chicken Curry
To quote Nik or Edwina:
"On our trip to Kerala in India in the summer of 2009, we spent a few hours at Leelus Homestay house (see Links), watching her making several different curries and taking copious notes. Then we sat down and ate a lovely lunch of this one, served with Chapatis, Pachadi, Pumpkin Curry and Potato Thoran. This is delicious, a succulent, flavoursome dish, with a perfect balance between sweet and sour. We've made it with beef too, and it was equally gorgeous.
Generally Keralans use a much lighter version of the coconut milk we buy in tins in the UK. We've found that if you buy the reduced fat coconut milk, open the can without shaking it, pour off the liquid part and use that, it works well. Then you can dilute the remaining thicker half with a little water and freeze it for next time. We've also recently found Maggi powdered coconut to be excellent for making this curry, though the packet instructions are a little heavy handed; we found 35 g of powder to 300 mls of water to be perfect"
- 2 teaspoons Keralan masala
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 4 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1kg chicken, skinned and chopped into rough chunks, parson's nose removed
- 2 onions, peeled and chopped
- ½ thumb of fresh ginger, chopped
- 8 to 10 Cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 to 2 fresh chillies, chopped
- 1 big tomato, sliced
- 1 big potato, in 5cm dice and par boiled for 15 minutes.
- 200ml coconut milk (see above)
- To the 2 teaspoons of keralan masala, add the turmeric, the chilli powder and the coriander powder. Add a splash of water and mix to a smooth paste
- Heat 4 tablespoons of coconut oil, add the onion, ginger, fresh chillies and garlic and cook till soft
- Add the masala paste, turn heat down, and cook slowly till it smells wonderful
- Add everything else except the coconut milk and the tomatoes, add 125 ml of vegetable stock or water, cover with a snug fitting lid, bring to the boil and simmer gently minutes until chicken and potatoes are cooked - about 30 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and coconut milk and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
I used Blue Dragon light coconut milk which was fine for this dish. (The remains of the tin can be frozen for later use).
I found this fairly bland and would definitely add more chillies next time.
There is no need to peel ginger. As a result of attending a Thai cookery demo, we have learnt that peeling ginger is unnecessary unless for aesthetic purposes as the skin is high in fibre and full of flavour. However, do remove any bits that have become tough or woody.
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