Yeleena had asked me for a guest post almost two months back. The only request she had was she wanted something that was “naadan” (local) and a non-vegetarian savory dish. At the time her message came, I was still on my vegetarian diet. So I told her I would try to cook for her once I would be able to make a proper non-vegetarian meal for my family, which she readily agreed. Once back, I procrastinated till the time I was reminded that her post was still pending. Moreover my parents would be arriving in no time, making it difficult for me to cook up something new and click. Normally, when they are around, even though they don’t mind waiting till I finish clicking but I feel really odd. Therefore I tend to cook dishes that I have not cooked for them before but is already there on the blog or in my drafts, so that I don’t have to make them wait for me to finish clicking. 🙂 Finally during the long National Day weekend, I bucked myself up and got to making this delicious dish.
I have already shared a Kozhi Nirachathu before on the blog. But that version was pressure cooked and had some gravy in it, due to the stock released from the chicken while pressure cooking. In that post, I had hinted that I would love to try out the whole fried version. That is what clicked while thinking of a guest post for Yeleena. Looking at the date of that post, I have tried it within a year of wishing for it. Not bad, considering how bad I am at “trying” what I have been wanting to try. Hehe… 😀 To read more about the recipe and the nostalgia behind it, do hop on to Yeleena’s space here…
PST: I am really not happy with the pictures. 🙁 I don’t know whether to blame it on my 50 mm lens, my blurring eyesight due to the hunger or the constant mutterings of “Ummi, when will you finish?” from behind. 😕 I felt they were fine on the camera screen but once I transferred to the laptop, it was a little blurred. Lesson learned – always eat something before you click pictures, so that neither your hunger nor your hungry folks can deter you. 😉
Kozhi Nirachathu ~ Malabar Stuffed and Fried Whole Chicken
- FOR THE CHICKEN:
- 1 kg whole chicken
- 3 tbsp red chilli powder
- 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
- ¾ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp fennel powder
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- ½ tsp black pepper powder
- Salt to taste
- Juice of one lime
- FOR THE MASALA:
- 2 hardboiled eggs
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 3 medium onions thinly sliced
- 3 green chillies minced
- 4 cloves garlic pounded
- 1 inch pc ginger pounded
- 1 heaped tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp fennel powder
- 2 to matoes chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for deep frying
- 1 sprig curry leaves optional
- 1 or 2 banana leaves
- Remove the skin of the chicken and the excess fats and wash it well.
- Pat dry using a kitchen towel till it is dry.
- Make stashes across the chicken – on the breasts, thigh, leg portions.
- Keep in a draining bowl till the masala is done.
- In a large bowl, big enough to hold the chicken, combine ingredients from red chilli powder to lime juice and mix to make a thick paste. Do not add water to it.
- Put the chicken in, and pat the masala all over the chicken, including the cavities till well coated.
- Set aside to marinate till the masala is being done.
- In a saucepan, heat oil. Briefly fry the curry leaves.
- Add the onions and green chillies and saute till the onion is wilted.
- Add the crushed ginger and garlic and saute till raw smell is gone, around 3 minutes.
- Add in the powders and saute for another couple of minutes or till a nice aroma comes.
- Tip in the tomatoes and give a good stir.
- Cook on low flame and closed lid, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking to the pan, till the tomatoes are all mashed up.
- Switch off the flame and allow it to cool slightly.
- Take the chicken, insert the boiled eggs into its cavity (keep only 1, if the cavity is small).
- Fill with the onion masala till tight – do not overfill or else the chicken may tear up while frying.
- Tie up the legs using a kitchen twine and also tie across the center and the wings portions, just to hold the chicken in shape.
- Heat sufficient coconut oil to fry the chicken. Once the oil is hot, add in the curry leaves, if using.
- Carefully, put the chicken into the oil and allow it to turn brown.
- Flip four sides till all the sides have a uniform color.
- While the chicken is frying, wash the banana leaves well.
- Run both the sides on top of flame to partially cook it. This will make the banana leaves flexible and easy to fold, without tearing.
- Set them in a plus shape on your counter. Spread ¾ of the remaining masala in the center portion of the leaves.
- Slowly drain the chicken off from oil and keep on top of the masala. Top with the remaining masala.
- Wrap the chicken well closing all sides, and tie up with kitchen twine. You may use toothpick to keep the leaves in its place like I did.
- Heat a large saucepan. Sprinkle a little of the oil used to fry the chicken.
- Put in the chicken parcel into it. Close the lid tight and cook on high for five minutes.
- Lower the flame to the minimum and cook for another 15 minutes. Switch off.
- Serve hot with rice, or even better with porottas or chapathis.
You can steam the chicken alone without the extra masala, and serve the masala separately.
In case banana leaves are not available, you can use aluminum foil to cover the chicken and steam accordingly.