Kerala Chicken Curry
By : Priya Syam
Chicken- 1 kg, cut and cleaned
Big onions- 5, medium sized
Tomatoes- 4, sliced
To marinate:-
Turmeric powder- 3/4 tsp
Green chillies- 3 slit lengthwise until 3/4th
Kashmiri red chilly powder - 2 tsps
Pepper powder- 3/4 tsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
To sauté and grind; for the gravy :-
Coconut Oil- 2-3 tbsps
Big Onions - 6 medium sized, sliced thin lengthwise
Tomatoes - 4, sliced thin
To grind to a smooth paste (raw ingredients for the masala):-
Garlic cloves - 6-8 nos
Ginger - 3-4 tsp,chopped
Cinnamon sticks - 2 one inch pieces
Cloves - 5-6 nos
Cardamom pods - 3 peeled
Fennel seeds /perunjeerakam- 2 tsps
Black peppercorn - 10 nos or 3/4 tsp powdered pepper
Coriander powder - 2 tbsps
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Kashmiri red chilly powder - 3 tsps
Lemon juice - 1 tsp (optional)
Salt - to taste
The seasoning :-
Coconut Oil- 2 tbsps
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Green chillies- 3-4, slit lengthwise until 3/4th
Turmeric Powder- 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri red chilly powder- 2 tsps
Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
Coconut ahredded 1 cup (grind to a smooth paste adding enough water)

Marinate chicken with the ingredients given in the "to marinate" list.
Grind masala. I used the ammikkallu for the traditional touch and grinding the hard textured spices to a smoother paste.
Heat 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil in a wide kadai and sauté the sliced onions till translucent adding half a tsp salt.sauté along the tomato slices.
Turn off when it cooks and turns to a mushy mass.Cool and grind to a smooth paste.
Heat 2 tbsps of oil ( refer 'the seasoning' list ) in the same kadai, splutter the cumin seeds and sauté the green chillies, curry leaves
followed by the ground masala (the raw ingredients given in the list). Sauté till the raw smell disappears and the aroma of masala spreads around. You may need to drizzle a bit more oil if you aren't using coconut oil, or even otherwise, take care not to burn the masala as it tends to stick to the bottom of the pan.While it turns dark brown in colour, add the 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 2 tsps chilly powder.Sauté along with the masala for a few seconds. stir in the onion-tomato paste along with 1- 11/2 cups of water. You may use the water used to rinse your mixie at this point

Dump the chicken pieces carefully when the gravy starts simmering.Check salt and
close the curry with a lid.The gravy splutters and it is always safe to close the curry allowing to simmer further.Grind coconut to a thick paste adding enough water
After 5 minutes add the ground paste to the simmering curry.Combine gently.Let is simmer again in the closed pan until the pieces turn soft and cooked. Check salt again if needed.Simmer until the pieces turn tender.You will find oil separating on top, when the curry attains the right consistency. Not too thick nor watery. Serves best with Kuthari Choru (Kerala red rice) and Thoran

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