Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Malvani Murgh

Malvani Murgh 

Its hot spicy and coco-nutty 

I believe there is nothing better in this world than the exchange of recipes for its not just ingredients and processes sometimes you get your hands on someone's heirloom recipe and I believe a recipe as as much value as any other historical item because it upholds the culture and lives of real people. And once you get a recipe from a faraway land you might just surprise yourself by finding a subtle similarity with something close home.

Take the beautiful Western coast of India. Its green , its where the hills  meet the sea and then there is that lovely Konkani cuisine, well I visited Malvan a tiny place in the southern most tip of Maharashtra, a coastal town with a slow paced life, smiling people, virgin beaches which are cleaner than most commercial beaches in India and thick spicy hot curries with that delightful taste of coconuts.

It is usually the Southern cuisine that we associate coconuts with but you see being born in one of the few states which can boast of a coastline , mountains , mangrove swamps and forests Bengali cuisine has its way of imparting coconuts. We usually use grated coconut in all our special curries but then there is that distinct difference which makes each cuisine unique for though we love adding grated coconut to vegetarian dishes when it comes to non vegetarian dishes other than the 'Chingri macher malai Kari' Lobsters cooked in a gravy of coconut we usually shy away from using coconut in our non vegetarian curries.

Anyway coming back to the delightful Malvani curry thanks to Meena Phatke I have this wonderful Malvani Chicken recipe which is her mother's recipe and with enough freshly grated coconut at home I decided I must 'strike the iron while it is hot'

So here is a recipe for 2 one that is spicy hot and coconutty

300gm chicken with bones
2 tsp smooth ginger garlic paste
Salt as per taste

For the Malvani essence

8 to 10 dried red chilies the hot variant
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 large onion
1.5 cup of grated coconut (cups which hold 200ml liquid)
6 to 7 cloves
20 black peppercorn
Half an inch cinnamon
2 tbsp oil (I used refined oil . You may use coconut oil or peanut oil or even sesame oil)
1.5 cups of water (cup that  holds 200ml of liquid)
Pinch of turmeric

Simply marinate your chicken pieces in the ginger garlic paste with a pinch of salt and let it marinate for 1 hour to 2 hours.

In the meantime slice the onion and fry it in 1 tbsp oil. The trick is to keep the flame to low and cover the wok so that your onion softens and browns and you do not use too much of oil. Once the onion turns mildly pinkish brown let it cool down. Now dry roast the dry spices and once the fried onion has cooled down blend the onion, coconut and dry spices.

Now heat 1 tbsp oil and add the marinated chicken and seal the juices on high flame for 2 minutes and then add the beautiful coconut base that you have created and coat the chicken and add the water and bring to a boil. Add some salt and turmeric and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Serve hot with steaming rice

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