Something for you all to ponder about:
What is good cooking?
According to me, it simply depends on two things: a palate for good taste and common sense. It’s just like any other art and craft. You should innately want to do it, not be forced to do it… That’s the difference between just cooking and good cooking…
Good food should taste amazingly delicious and should have an enticing aroma to it.
Similarly, the taste of good food always lingers back in our memories… some tasty memories I must say…One such memory for me is that of this Goan chicken coconut curry.
A little note about curries
The Brits first came up with the idea of making curries using curry powder. A typical contemporary curry powder may include turmeric, coriander, cumin, pepper, cloves, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, tamarind and chilli powder. Sometimes, it also includes other spices like: fennel, caraway, carrom seeds, mustard seeds, cinnamon, etc.
India has a variety of curries, generally based on different cuisines, regions, tastes, castes and customs, etc. or sometimes even based on the main dish it has to complement.
Sometimes, curries also depend on how individual chefs like to prepare it. Traditionally, they would roast the spices and grind the spice mixture fresh to prepare the dish. However, spices like garam masala are made in large quantities and stored in airtight containers for later use.
Chefs also use fresh ingredients to enhance the flavour of the curries they prepare, thus, giving it a well balanced flavour. One can use fresh ingredients like garlic-ginger paste, onions, curry leaves, coriander leaves, too.
However, the flavour of a dish also depends on the way it has been prepared: the cooking method used. Roasting the spices, frying the flavouring ingredients and adding spices at different stages during cooking is important in flavouring curries. Some curries also add spices at the end by frying them in oil or ghee.
My mum learnt this recipe from her mum and then eventually I learnt it from her…
As far as I remember, this used to be a special Sunday curry but however my mum used to make it mostly with chicken curry cut pieces. I remember Pai used to go all the way Panjim to Royale Foods to get curry cut pieces from there to make this curry.
I’m glad I can share this recipe which is so close to my heart with you all…
Goan Chicken Coconut Curry
For the curry paste
- 5 nos Dried red Kashmiri chillies
- 250 gms Grated coconut
- 1 Tamarind lime sized ball soaked in water
- 1½ tbsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
- 3 tbsp Coriander seeds
- ½ inch Ginger
- 4-5 cloves Garlic
- 1 nos Onion
- 6-7 nos Black peppercorns
- 300 gms Chicken I used chicken breast
- 3 nos Red onions
- 1 nos Tomato chopped
- 1 nos Green chilli
- Salt to taste
- Wash the chicken, cut it into small piece and marinate for at least an hour with salt.
- Grind all the curry paste ingredients with enough water to make a thick paste. Keep aside.
- Thinly slice the red onions, tomato and keep aside.
- Slit the green chilli lengthwise. Keep aside.
- In a pot, fry the onions until translucent. Add tomatoes and chillies. Stir until mushy.
- Next add the chicken and fry lightly for a minute or two in the onion mixture.
- Now add the ground curry paste and fry it further.
- Add enough water and boil until the curry thickens and chicken cooked.
- Enjoy with some hot steamed rice.
- I used chicken breast for this recipe but it’s best to use chicken on the bone for more flavour. You can use thighs, whole chicken, curry cut pieces, etc.
- Soak the tamarind ball in a little water for sometime until the tamarind soaks well. I sometimes even soak it in hot water to fasten the process.
- This curry paste can also be used to make prawn curry, fish curry or even vegetable curry.
- This curry is best eaten with steamed rice or even hot chapatis.
Do give it a try and let me know by tagging the pictures on Instagram by using the hashtag #deliciouscravingsatvaniaskitchen
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