Hot chicken curry from Kolhapur

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

This very hot curry, Murgh Kolhapuri, comes from the small town of Kolhapur, in the state of Maharashtra. Large amounts of chillies as well as hot spices such as cloves and peppercorns are used, but the final taste is balanced by the sweetness of a generous amount of onion, yogurt and coconut. For a milder taste, reduce the amount of chillies, peppercorns and cloves or add extra coconut and yogurt.

Ingredients

  • 1.1 kg/lb chicken joints
  • 115 g/4oz/½ cup natural (plain) yogurt
  • 10 ml/2 tsp gram flour (besan)
  • 5 ml/1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 5 ml/1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 25 g/1 oz/ cup desiccated (dry unsweetened shredded) coconut
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2.5 cm/1 in piece of fresh root ginger, chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp sunflower oil or olive oil
  • 5 cm/2 in piece of cinnamon stick, halved
  • 6 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 6 cloves
  • 5–10ml/1–2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2.5 ml/72 tsp ground black pepper
  • 115 g/4 oz canned chopped tomatoes, with their juice
  • 2.5 ml/72 tsp garam masala
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 1 small tomato, deseeded and cut into julienne strips, to garnish
  • 1–2 fresh green chillies, deseeded and cut into julienne strips, to garnish
  • Plain Boiled Rice, to serve

Method

  1. Skin the chicken joints and cut each of them into two pieces by separating the leg from the thigh and cutting each breast joint in half.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the yogurt with the gram flour, then add the turmeric and salt. Add the chicken pieces and mix thoroughly. Cover with clear film (plastic wrap) and set aside for 1 hour.

  3. In a heavy pan, dry-roast the coconut over a medium to low heat until it is lightly browned. Do not allow it to darken or it will taste bitter. Remove from the pan, cool and grind in a coffee grinder until fine.

  4. Purée the onion, ginger and garlic in a food processor or blender until smooth.

  5. Heat the oil over a low heat and add the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Stir-fry these for 1–2 minutes, until the cardamom pods have puffed up.

  6. Add the peed onion, ginger and garlic mixture gradually. Increase the heat slightly and cook until the mixture is beginning to brown, stirring regularly and being careful not to let it burn.

  7. Add the chilli powder and black pepper, and continue to cook for an additional 2–3 minutes, adding about 15ml/1 tbsp water if the mixture sticks to the pan.

  8. Add the chicken pieces and stir over a high heat until it changes colour. Add the canned chopped tomatoes and pour in 200ml/7fl oz/¾ cup warm water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook until the chicken is tender when pierced with a fork.

  9. Stir in the roasted coconut and cook for 4–5 minutes. Stir in garam masala and coriander. Remove from the heat. Transfer to a dish, garnish with the tomato and chilli strips, and serve with Plain Boiled Rice.

Per portion Energy 605kcal/2508kJ; Protein 37.8g; Carbohydrate 13.8g, of which sugars 8.9g; Fat 44.7g, of which saturates 13.2g; Cholesterol 176.2mg; Calcium 107.8mg; Fibre 2.5g; Sodium 170mg.