Friday, April 24, 2015

Chicken Kolhapuri

Chicken Kolhapuri is a Maharastrian signature curry that is very spicy and aromatic. It is like Managalorean signature dish Kori Ghasi but contains more spices and less coconut. Perhaps, it has the influence of Andhra cuisine, for some of the ingredients that go into the masala are identical to Andhra style curries.
I first tasted Chicken Kolhapuri in our own Mangalore, first at a restaurant run by Prakash Prabhu of Nandini Sweets fame at Hotel Maurya(Now Shaan Plaza) on KS Rao Road, and at Hotel Rajadhani on Milagres cross Road in the mid Eighties. Both the restaurants made it pretty well. We friends used to frequent those two restaurants those days on weekends, and our regular order was Chicken Kolhapuri and rotis.

I have gone through various recipes but this is my own formula based on original ingredients that go into the dish, adding a few of my own. Those who like spicy food can go for it, for this curry can clear a coated tongue and blocked nose, at the same time enhance secretion of digestive juices and increase your appetite. Make this on a hot summer day and enjoy the heat that beats the summer heat, or simply relish this on monsoon or cold winter days to keep you warm! 
Chicken(Without skin) - 500 Gms, cut into medium size pieces
Plain Yogurt - 2 Tbsp
Salt - 3/4 Tsp, or according to taste
Red Chilli Powder - 1 Tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 Tsp
Red Long Chillies(Byadgi or Kashmiri) - 6
Peppercorns - 1/2 Tsp
Coriander Seeds - 1 Tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 Tsp
Fennel Seeds - 1 Tsp
Caraway Seeds(Ajwain) - 1/4 Tsp
Marata Moggu - 4
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon - 1" stick
Star Anise - 1
Nutmeg Powder - A pinch
Mace(Javetri) - A pinch
Poppy Seeds(Khus Khus) - 4 Tsp
White Sesame seeds - 2 Tsp
Dry Coconut Bits/Desiccated Coconut - 1/4 cup 
Onions - 2 medium, sliced thin
Green Chillies - 3-4, cut into small pieces
Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 Tsp
Kasuri Methi(Optional) - 1 Tsp
Tomatoes - 2 medium, chopped
Coriander Leaves - A small bunch, chopped
Refined Vegetable Oil - 4-6 Tsp
Wash, pat dry and marinate chicken pieces with yogurt, 1/4 Tsp salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder for 1-2 hours.
Dry roast 4 red long chillies, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, caraway seeds, marata moggu, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg powder, mace, poppy seeds, white sesame seeds and dry coconut till a nice smell emanates.
Heat 2 Tsp oil and fry the onion slices and green chillies with a pinch of salt till oil leaves sides and onions are well browned.
Once cool, dry grind the roasted spices along with dry coconut into a powder.
Add fried onions and green chillies and grind into a fine paste, adding minimum water.
Heat remaining oil in a thick bottomed pan.
Add the remaining 2 red long chillies, fry for 30 secs and keep aside.
In the same oil, fry ginger garlic paste along with the ground masala paste till oil separates.
Add optional kasuri methi and chopped tomatoes and fry till tomatoes are mushy.
Now add the chicken pieces along with the marinade and fry for 3-5 minutes or until chicken turns whitish.
Add one cup of water, remaining salt to taste and half of the chopped coriander leaves, bring to a boil, cover and simmer.
After 15 minutes, chicken will be properly cooked, and oil floats on top.
Now open the lid and check for salt, add the fried red chillies, then switch off the flame.
Garnish with remaining chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with a lemon wedge, along with steamed rice or with choice of rotis.

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