Thursday, May 22, 2008
Kohlapur style of cooking refers to spicy, flavourful and earthy dishes. Unlike chicken curry where every cook has his or her secret ingredients -( usually it has to do with the blend of spices), most Kohlapuri recipes have almost the same ingredients. Now, that does not mean that the the amount of ingredients are the same with every recipe.
What makes it different from a classic chicken curry is the addition of roasted fresh coconut and roasted white poppy seeds also known as kas kas. Both ingredients are widely available at Asian grocery stores. If you are unable to get fresh grated (frozen) coconut, you could always use roasted unsweetend dried coconut / dessicated coconut. The addition of coconut and dry roasted white poppy seeds gives this dish a deep nuttines and body to the gravy. Don't be tempted to use roasted black poppy seeds for this dish. Use dry roasted hazelnuts or dry roasted cashews instead. I use a mortar and pestle for most of my pounding - it is a good work out!
I served Chicken Kohlapuri with aromatic basmati rice cooked in vegetable broth, saffron, clarified butter also known as ghee and roughly crushed cardamom pods.
500 m chicken breast - cubed to bite sizes
1 tb cilantro
1 large tomato - chopped fine
1 1/2 tb chilli powder
pinch of turmeric
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tb white poppy seeds (kas kas) - roasted and finely crushed
1 tb grated coconut - roasted and finely crushed
2 tb vegetable oil
salt to taste
1 tb ginger paste
4 cloves of garlic - paste
1/4 tsp tamarind paste diluted in 1/3 cup of water
1/3 cup of water
1 +1 medium onions - finely chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
4 cardamom pods
Wash and cut chicken breast into bite size cubes and set aside. Puree 1 medium onion into a fine paste. Add a bit of water if needed.
Marinate the cubed chicken with onion, garlic and ginger paste and set aside.
Heat vegetable oil on medium and saute the aromatics - cinnamon sticks, star anise and cardamom pods for 3 minutes. This will flavour the oil. Add the chopped onion and saute until the onion starts to caramelize.
Add turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder, salt and saute the spices in the hot oil for 1 minute. This essentially "toasts" the spices. The mixture will be very fragrant. Pour in 1/3 cup of water, this will make it sizzle. Add tamarind that was diluted in water, tomatoes and cubed chicken. Close the pot with a lid and bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Once the sauce is thickened, adjust seasonings. Add dry roasted and finely crushed white poppy seeds and finely crushed roasted coconut (if using).
Sprinkle chopped cilantro if using and serve with rice or naan. This is a spicy dish.
You could also try Lamb Kofta .