It’s been a real long time since I participated in the Sshh Cooking Challenge. Recently, to make it interesting, the challenge had started exploring state wise and started from A. Though I would have loved to be a part of it, my family isn’t very receptive to all kind of foods and also, my time is becoming really tight of late, so I decided to give the challenge a break. Mayuriji was very understanding, and I did mention that when I felt like it, I would be part of the challenge. This month, it was Goa and I was in two minds. I hadn’t signed up initially but then it happened that there was one extra participant without a partner, and without thinking two times, I jumped in. I am glad that I did! 😀
Like I mentioned, this month, we are exploring Goan cuisine. Goa needs no introduction – it is the enjoyment capital of India, and everybody knows it. 🙂 The smallest state in India but ranked as the best in the standard of living, Goan culture is marked by its heavy influence of it’s former Portugese inhabitation. A lot of their food do have Portugese influence and I understand that many had to choose between this nationality and Indian nationality to stay within the country, since it became a part of India only in 1961. Whatever said and done, this is one place that I wish to go somewhere soon, InShaAllah… 🙂
My partner for the month is Sujataji, and she was pretty easy going. She asked me several times if I had any preference before she gave me coconut and black peppercorn as my ingredients. I know she couldn’t see it but in my mind, I was dancing due to the ease of ingredients! Just like our cuisine, Goan food has a heavy use of coconut and pepper is a very easy ingredient to go in. And all I wanted to make was chicken curry! 😀 Being a coastal state, fish is eaten very prominently there but my folks are more tilted towards chicken than fish, so I had to make the choice.
My very first search landed me up on this link, and I didn’t even go any further. One Friday afternoon, I got to making this curry. First of all, the browning of onions is what I so loved in this curry, almost into birista condition. The more brown, the more tastier! I loved how beautifully the paste of coconut and spices blended with the onion, and then we get the chicken cooked. If you see, the spices used are what is in the paste, nothing else! The final polishing off with some tamarind water and coconut milk was just amazing. If you remember, I did skip adding tamarind paste to the Sri Lankan Chicken Curry I tried but it looked like a wanted ingredient here, so I went ahead. The end result was a super flavorful, delicious curry that paired up so well with a plate of ghee rice, and then at night, it was mopped up with bread. It was a beautifully colored gravy and had an amazing aroma. The curry took two days for us to finish, but as it kept, the flavors just kept getting better…
I feel glad to have tried this recipe, do try it if you are in a mood for a coconut curry. Also do check out what Sujathaji cooked with ingredients I gave her – her blog name is cute, isn’t it? 🙂
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 meduim onions, thinly sliced
- 1 kg chicken, cut into meduim peices
- 1 lime pc tamarind, soaked in ¼ cup hot water
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Salt to taste
- Coriander leaves for garnishing
- FOR PASTE:
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 4 dry red chillies (Kashmiri), soaked in 120 ml warm water till soft
- 6 garlic cloves
- 3 cm pc ginger
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorn
- First prepare the paste. Put all ingredients into a jar without the chilli water and grind till smooth. Add the water little by little till you have a smooth paste.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan. Fry the onions till it becomes nicely browned.
- Add in the paste and saute for a few minutes.
- Add in the chicken and toss well. Cook for 10 minutes on closed lid, tossing it one time in the middle.
- Add a cup of water and salt and allow it to cook till done.
- Pulp the tamarind water and coconut milk and allow it to boil for five minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
If you have tamarind paste available, you can use two tablespoons of it instead of the tamarind water.