On our vacation in Kerala last year, we were lucky to have CJJ’s grandma at his place…….and whenever we were there at his place, we kick-started our day, saying good morning to her, with a
Yes, I do want to stay with her…..listen to her stories…..taste her food and ofcourse enjoy the natural beauty of Kuttandau, "the rice bowl of Kerala", a place near Alappuzha and as I have already mentioned in one of my posts, I have never been to Kuttanadu, and from what I have gathered from CJJ’s vivid descriptions, this place is laced with palm fringed canals and small rivers… lush green paddy fields……locals traversing in small country boats……. men herding a flock of ducks and the tail wagging and quacking of ducks !! It’s not just my husband who makes me go crazy with all these details… it is as though, my brothers-in law have also taken their vows to tickle my imagination….when one claims that it is heaven, then the other goes one step ahead and sends me the picture of mouth-watering duck roast their grandma makes!! I had no other option but to call her up and learn to make the chicken roast…..and I was quite surprised to learn that her famous chicken and duck roast is made with very few ingredients. I had to double check with her if there was no need to add coriander powder, chili powder and tomatoes which is generally used in chicken roast preparations, which are either curried and then pan seared or deep fried and then roasted but this preparation is based on grandma’s recipe! I have already blogged her Pepper Fish Fry, here’s another one!
Step 1: Ingredients to marinate chicken:-
- 1 ½ lb chicken cut into small pieces (Around ½ to ¾ kg)
- 3 ½ tbsp Masala Powder* (Recipe follows)
- 1 ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1tsp vinegar
- 3 finely chopped green chilies
- 2tbsp Oil, preferably coconut oil
- Salt to taste
- 1-2 tsp water
- 2 cups thinly sliced small red pearl onions/shallots
- ¼ cup finely chopped ginger
- ¼ cup finely chopped garlic
- 3 green chilies
- 1 sprig coarsely chopped curry leaves + 2 sprigs
- ¼ tsp Masala Powder* (Recipe Follows)
- Salt to taste
- 1-2 tbsp water
- Wash and cut the chicken into small bite size pieces with slits on the flesh. Make a paste with masala powder, pepper powder, turmeric, vinegar, green chilies and salt with 1-2 tsp water and marinate the chicken well and leave for 30 minutes in the room temperature. This helps the marinade to penetrate into the meat.
- Heat oil in a large pan and sauté small onions until they turn transparent and then add green chilies, ginger, garlic and curry leaves and cook until they are soft. At this stage add the chicken and sprinkle 1-2 tbsp water and cook for around 20 minutes in low heat or until the raw smell goes. Transfer this chicken masala to a pressure cooker and I generally wait for 3-4 whistles.
- When steam goes and cooker cools down, transfer the pressure cooked chicken with the gravy, back to the large pan and in medium heat, bring it to a boil. There is no need to add more oil at this stage. Sprinkle ¼ tsp masala powder ( to get the aroma of the spices) and adjust the salt and generously use 2 long sprigs of curry leaves and then reduce the heat to low and let the slow cooking begin. Keep stirring, until the gravy is well coated with the chicken and completely dry, making sure that the gravy does not stick to the bottom. This slow-cook-dry-process will take 15-30 minutes depending on the amount of the gravy. Serve hot with rice/Chappathi/Appam.
*To Make the Masala Powder: - (Approx. measurement shown in the picture)
- ¼ cup fennel seeds/perinjeerakam
- 12-15 cinnamon/karugapatta
- 8-10 cloves/grambu
- 2 cardamom/Elakkaya
Note: The taste of this dish mainly depends on the masala powder used and also on the fresh ingredients. Hence, to get the authentic taste, it is better to stick on to the masala powder recipe given above and also stay away from using big onion instead of small onions and store bought ginger-garlic paste instead of finely chopped fresh ginger and garlic. Also there is no need to add tomato. I have personally tried out all these variations and alternatives, but it does not come anywhere near the original recipe. So trust me!
Verdict: Husband does the ‘taste-test’ and comments (or recommends?),” hmmm…..mm….it has the authentic taste……A ‘naadan’ taste……” He takes one more bite and tells the wife, “…mm…really good…..hey, why don’t you blog this?”!!!! Should I add anything more than this?:)