Tuesday, June 24, 2008
There isn't any place in Tamil Nadu where you don't come across the chettinadu restaurant. And most of the restaurants in this state have the chettinad items on their menu.
One such delicacy is the Chettinad Chicken. A real variation of the normal chicken curry. It has all this combination of authentic spices both whole and ground and with lots of red chillies and curry leaves, this is one dish full of flavour in a very unique way.
During my stay in Chennai, I and my Tamilian husband use to enjoy this most of the times. At first I guessed the ingredients that would have gone into it and prepared it, it did come out very near. But with tons of recipes out their in the net, we can never go wrong.
Though it takes a little amount of time with the preparation of the special spice paste, the investment is worth it and the taste pays off.
1 tsp fennel seeds
2- 4 bay leaves
5 cardamom pods
2-4 cinnamon sticks, broken
12-15 curry leaves,
2 tbsp oil
2 Onions peeled and finely chopped
1 large tomato, chopped or 1/4 cup tomato puree.
2 lb chicken, skinned and cut into small pieces (preferably chicken breasts)
For the Spice Paste:
5-6 dried hot red chillies( increase to 8 or 10 if desire more spicy )
1 tbsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp white poppy seeds
5 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 inch piece of freshly chopped Ginger
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
Salt to taste.
In a frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of the oil and roast the cumin seeds, chillies, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, black peppercorns and poppy seeds and grind a into a fine powder.
To this add garlic, ginger, turmeric and salt along with some water and blend into a smooth paste.
Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan. when hot, add all the dry spices.
Stir fry and add the onions and fry till lightly coloured.
Now add the spice paste and keep stirring.
Add whole tomatoes or puree and fry till all the raw smell is gone. Now Add the chicken pieces and coat them well with the masala. Add enough water, and simmer till the chicken is tender.
Now on high heat reduce the gravy into thick consistency so that the gravy sticks to the chicken pieces.
Alternately, for small servings, heat up a tawa, add a bit of oil, curry leaves, broken red chillies fry a little and add the watery chicken gravy with a little chilly powder and keep stirring till all the gravy becomes thick and sticks to chicken,
Garnish with coriander leaves.
This can be served with any seasoned rice like Tomato Rice, Coconut Rice, Lemon Rice or Iddiyappam or parota.
This is my entry for the blog event Chicken my Favorite, created and hosted by Vandhana Rajesh of Cooking up Something Nice