Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chicken Curry (My mother’s Chicken Stew)

Recipe No: 86
Well this is the Chicken Stew/Curry that served with Vellayappam in my house for breakfast on all the festivals especially Christmas and Easter as a part of our tradition…  My mother rarely goes to church for the early morning service on these special days as she will not be able to negotiate with the hungry stomachs after wards. So when all of us leave for church she will stay back and make this delicious Chicken Curry in ‘Uruli’(a big wide Bronze cookware) over wood burning stove. The nicest part of the whole thing well… I am ashamed to say this but my dedication to the food that I am cherishing here in a foreign land, helps me to overcome that shame… Returning from church and getting a bit cozier in a home dress, I will  go straight past my mother, who will most probably be making  Appam, to the wood burning stove. There in front of the fire pit I will be greeted by the Uruli with all the chicken Curry taken away but still having one piece in the bottom (the one that my mother used to keep for me) with a whole lot of gravy sticking to the sides of that vessel. With the aid of the most recently cooked Appam I will be enjoying the gravy that is sticking to the sides…guys I should confess that the Curry itself will not come any way near the taste of that sticky goodness…

When my eldest brother got married I found a good companion in my sister in law for this ‘Uruli’ conspiracy, licking the Uruli till my mother starts  to show her faces!!!!!!!!!! Good days… I still miss the Uruli taste, as the curries made in non stick cook wares are  no match to the ones made in the  old fashioned Uruli. But I learned how to stay cool with what I had….Well I have to anyway...
Even though, this cannot be called a stew as it contains a lot of spices than the traditional stew, I know a lot of people in our place that treats this curry the same way you treat a stew and call it so. This goes extremely well with Theenga Aracha Appam (Vellayappam).
Ingredients                                                     Serves 6
  • Chicken……………………....1/2 Kg (Skinned and cut into small pieces)
  • Potato……………………......2 medium cubed
  • Oil…………………………......3 Tablespoons
  • Onion sliced thin…….....…1/2 Small
  • Ginger chopped………......1 ½ Tablespoons
  • Slit Green Chilly…….....…10- 12 If you don’t like heat then take the seeds off the Chilly rather than reducing its number as its flavor is very important for this dish)
  • Curry leaves…………......…2-3 Sprigs
  • Coriander Powder……......4 Heaped Tablespoons
  • Turmeric Powder…….......1/2 Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala Powder….1 ½ Teaspoons (Homemade preferred)
  • Thin Coconut milk……….2 ½ Cups (Dilute ¾ Cup thick coconut milk with 1 ¾ cup water if you are using canned coconut milk. If you are squeezing grated coconut combine 2nd and 3rd milk together)
  • Thick Coconut milk………1 Cup
  • Vinegar…………………….…1/2 Teaspoon
  • Tomato sliced……………...1/2 Large
  • Salt as per taste
Method of Preparation
  1. Heat 1 ½ Tablespoons of oil in a pan on medium high heat and saute Onion, Ginger, Green Chilly and Curry Leaves for 2 minutes until the Onion starts to wilt.
  2. Add the Chicken pieces and saute for a minute or two till it starts to give water out.
  3. Add Coriander Powder, Turmeric Powder and Garam Masala Powder and saute for two more minutes.
  4. Add thin Coconut milk and Salt, close the pan and let it boil. Once boiled lower the heat to medium low and let the Chicken cook.
  5. While the Chicken is cooking, in another pan heat the rest of the oil and shallow fry (saute) the Potato till its sides starts to brown. Add this fried Potato to the Chicken once it is 3/4th cooked. Don’t add it earlier or the Potato will get mashed up and the curry will taste like Potato curry.
  6. Once cooked, add Tomato slices, Vinegar and thick Coconut milk. Let it boil once more and switch off the flame. Cover the vessel and let it sit for ½ hour before serving.
  • Frying the Potatoes will create a crust around that will prevent them from getting mashed in the Curry.
  • The amount of Coriander Powder is very important  so don't try to reduce it (even if you feel it as lots) in order to get the real taste of this dish.
  • This goes well with Chappathi , Roti and the best of all Vellayappam/ Thenga Aracha Appam/ Kerala Rice Pancakes with Coconut.

Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and
serve it to your family with love…


George said...

This is my next target. It tasted like heaven in that Easter lunch. Thank you very much for the fabulous lunch.

Asha said...

George... you spotted the wrong dish... This is the one..
I just want to make it clear...Thanks a lot...

PeteraspSasuri said...

What type of vinegar is required white or the dark kind? And if i want to replace the chicken with eggs when is the best time you think i should put them in?

Asha said...

White Vinegar... That is the only one, mostly available in India... In that you can use synthetic or natural. If you want to replace Chicken with Egg, add it only when the potatoes are almost done before adding the thick Coconut Milk. But do cook it in the gravy for a minute or two...

PeteraspSasuri said...

Thanks :)

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