I have never seen umma making a full chicken ever in the Malabar style. If it is chicken, it has to these – the chukka, the varutharachathu or her normal chicken curry. My first tryst with nirachathu – which translated means “stuffed” – was at HD’s place. After our very first trip home and the day we were coming back, apart from 20 kg of our clothes, the remaining was packed with all sorts of palahaarams (snacks). Kalthappam, unniyappam, kozhiyada, kallumakkaaya, katti pathiri – I know these names make no sense to my other readers but my Malabari readers will definitely start salivating at these names! 😀 It felt like we both were literally carrying every imaginable delicacy in our luggage. I was – in fact till now never, Alhamdulillah! – not allowed into the kitchen to help the ladies out, so I kept watching their swift movements with so much of ecstasy. I have never seen in my life, the deft at which the women in HD’s household cook. And I am told that if I go to a house anywhere from Kozhikode to the extreme north end of Kasargode, it is the same. If you arrive as a guest unannounced, within 15 minutes, you will have at least five freshly prepared snacks on the table along with your cup of chai. I am not joking – those who have experienced will agree to me with a fully shaking head. If this is the case when you come unannounced, then better not imagine how it would be if you give them advance notice and come home. 🙂 Umma always says when they come over to HD’s place, how embarassed she feels to eat so much food when she struggles to cook a basic good meal when they come over to our place – as our knowledge of all this is quite limited.
OK, so coming back to the “nirachathu”, one of the food that we bought along with us with a fried and stuffed chicken. I was amazed at how meticulously HD’s aunt had stuffed some dry masala and eggs tightly inside the cavity and tied the legs so tight that nothing comes out. She then proceeded to fry it till it was cooked. Even though I ate it with the katti pathiri once I reached here, the taste of it was just too good. The version I am sharing with you today is one which has gravy. When you want to serve with rice, this is a good option. It is cooked in a pressure cooker, so that means it is healthier than the fried option, but InShaAllah, I am already placing the fried kozhi nirachathu in my loooooong (I don’t think those “o”s are enough, but still… 😉 ) list of to-dos… Off to this delicious gravy…
Updated: the fried kozhi nirachathu was posted here… 🙂
- 1 kg whole chicken, skin removed
- 2 hard boiled eggs
- 4 tbsp coconut oil, separated
- 5 large onions, thinly sliced
- 4 green chillies, chopped
- A large pc ginger, pounded
- 1 whole garlic, pounded
- 3 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- ½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
- Salt to taste
- Curry leaves for garnish
- Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a saucepan.
- Add in the onions, chillies, ginger, garlic and tomatoes along with some salt and cook till the onions wilt and the tomatoes get mashed up.
- Add in the turmeric and red chilli powders and saute till the raw smell is gone.
- Add in the coriander leaves, mix well. Adjust the salt.
- Put in two tablespoons of the masala into the pit of the chicken.
- Put in the hardboiled eggs and then fill in maximum masala in.
- Tie up the legs with a twig (I didn't use, that's why my chicken opened up! Hehe...).
- In a pressure cooker, slowly transfer the chicken with the breast portion down, top it with the remaining masala and drizzle in the remaining coconut oil.
- Cook for one whistle on medium-high flame and then cook on simmer for 15 minutes.
- Switch off and allow the pressure to go by itself.
- Transfer carefully into a plate, top with the masala. Garnish with curry leaves and serve warm.