This dish is impressive: a whole chicken is boiled, marinated in spices and deep-fried, then served with a spicy tomato sauce. The double cooking results in a really tender, flavoursome chicken. It’s a bit nerve-racking deep-frying a whole chicken, but it’s not as hard as it sounds, as long as you use a decent-sized wok and don’t fill it more than one-third with oil.
Place the whole chicken in a stockpot, breast-side up, and cover with water. Add the turmeric and
To prepare the sauce, use a mortar and pestle to pound the lemongrass, garlic, ginger and
In a small bowl, put the garam masala, ground coriander, cumin, curry powder and a little water (about
When ready to serve, heat the coconut oil in a large wok to approximately 160°C (315°F) (a cube of bread dropped into the oil will brown in 30 seconds). Add the chicken, carefully lowering it into the oil, with the cavity facing away from you. Using a large spoon, baste the chicken with the oil every couple of minutes. It is important that the chicken heats right through as well as fries on the outside. After 7-8 minutes, carefully turn the chicken over to brown the other side. Take care with this, as the oil can splash when you turn the chicken. Cook for a further 8-10 minutes. When the chicken is golden brown with slightly charred edges, carefully remove from the wok and set aside.
Place a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce on a shallow oval-shaped dish, then carefully place the fried whole chicken on top, spooning over the remaining sauce. Serve with chicken biryani or fragrant samba rice.
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