This is a very rustic (nadan) chicken curry, with no frills, no lengthy preparation and no elaborate ingredients. Most Malabar feast recipes are heavy and intricate while their everyday cooking is minimalistic and simple. The daily meals are typical of the rest of kerala cuisine, with dosa, puttu, neriya pathiri etc for breakfast, fish- rice based lunches,pathiri and a meat curry for dinner.In fact, my mother laughs when I ask her for this recipe. She calls it the neetiya curry. The origin of this curry is more Malapurram, my father’s naadu, than Calicut. She tells me the story of olden days, when there were unforeseen guests, and the chicken was less, the cooking was underway, so this curry gets stretched (neetiyathu) and becomes more and more watery to create more gravy. But in its simplicity, it is a perfect accompaniment to any rice based item such as pathiri, idiappam, puttu etc and even with porotta. It goes amazingly well with plain bread, somewhat like bread and stew.
I found that the Malaysian appetiser, Roti Canai’s chicken curry has almost the same taste, perhaps a legacy from Malayalees who migrated to Malayasia a long time ago.
According to my friend Ki in Kuala Lumpur, the roti -canai is our own kerala porota. There early Indian restuarants were set by Malabar muslims and they called themselves Malabarees. She says "Canai" in malay (bahasa meleyu) means flattening/smoothening/grinding. I wonder if they fish sauce to this curry too. I have friends who just go the Malaysian place Penang, to double order this as a main course.
Cooking time: 15 min
You will need:
Chicken-1 lb, (500gm) cleaned and cut into small pieces.
Potatoes- 2 medium size
Onions- 1 small one
Tomatoes-1 really small one
Green chilies paste– 3 tsp
Garlic –Garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 3/4 tsp
Red chili powder- 1 tsp (more or less as per taste)
Coriander powder-4 tbsp
Pepper- 1/2 tsp Powder
Coconut grated-1/2 cup or ½ cup coconut milk
Coriander, curry leaves each a small handful, chopped
Salt - to taste
1. Wash the chicken and lightly toss it with lemon juice and rinse again. Drain well onto a slotted drainer. Chop the tomatoes, onion into small pieces. Peel and dice each potato into 8 pieces.
2. In a pressure cooker or heavy bottomed sauce pan, add chicken, onions, spices and everything else except the green leaves and mix well. Pressure cook for 1 whistle. Alternately, cook covered for 10-15 minutes on low heat. If doing so, keep checking often.
Grind the coconut with ¼ cup water to a very fine paste. Alternatively, you can use coconut milk powder, dissolved in warm water.
3. After the pressure cooker cools down, open and check if the chicken is cooked. Add salt and the chopped leaves. Add the coconut paste and turn on the flame again. Let it simmer for at least 10 minutes on low flame.Mix well and check taste. If there is very little gravy, add ¼ to ½ water to make extra gravy and let it boil well. Turn off and serve.
Food, Chicken Curry,Malabar Recipes