According to Madhur Jaffrey, this recipe is the creation of one of the chefs from Nagore in Tamil Nadu, and is usually made with guinea fowl, and served with coconut rice. Here, the recipe is given made with chicken. I served this with plain jasmine rice.
The spices : roasted fresh grated coconut, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, black peppercorns, dried chillies and fresh curry leaves, which are then process in the spice or coffee grinder to a powder, rather a slightly rough powder. I have added half the amount of all the spices, as usual for more gravy.
There's a whole list of other ingredients that went into making this curry ; green chillies, garlic, ginger, onions, turmeric, tomatoes coconut milk, coriander leaves.
This chicken curry is so delicious and the aroma is fabulous. There was no leftovers, well, except for a small bowl of the delicious gravy, which I'm not letting it go to waste! I had it the next day with some leftover rice, along with a fried egg and sliced fresh cucumbers for my lunch.
Nagore Chicken Curry
(adapted from "Curry Nation", Madhur Jaffrey)
For the spice paste :
4 tablespoons freshly grated coconut
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 dried chillies
20-30 fresh curry leaves
For the curry :
6 tablespoons olive oil or sunflower oil
3-4 green chillies
6 finely grated or crushed garlic cloves
1 tablespoon peeled, finely grated root ginger
2 medium red onions, halved and finely sliced
2 medium white onions, halved and finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 whole chicken, about 1.6kg (3-1/2 lb), skinned and portioned into 10 pieces (drumsticks, thighs, wings and halved breasts)
120ml (scant 4 fl oz) coconut milk
4 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves
For the spice paste, set a karhai, wok or small frying pan, about 18 centimetres (7 inches) in diameter, over a medium heat and add the coconut, stirring until it browns. Add the cumin, coriander and fenugreek seeds, the peppercorns and dried chillies. Continue to stir for two or three minutes. As the spices release their aromas, drop in the curry leaves. Stir for 30 seconds, then cool. Grind in a clean coffee grinder or spice grinder to a fine, slightly oily powder.
To make the curry, set a large pan, about 25 centimetres (10 inches) in diameter, over a medium heat. When it's hot, pour in the oil. Drop in one whole green chilli. Stir and allow the skin to blister for 30 seconds. Add the garlic and ginger. Stir and fry for two to three minutes, until the garlic just starts to brown. Tip in the onions and saute for 16-18 minutes, until soft and golden. Add splashes of boiling water to prevent any sticking. Stir in the turmeric. Tip in the spice paste and incorporate thoroughly for one or two minutes. Now add the tomatoes and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally, mashing the tomatoes into the sauce and reducing the heat if the tomatoes seem to catch. Add the remaining green chillies, slit lengthways, and the salt. Mix well, then add the chicken. Brown the meat for about 10 minutes. Pour in 400ml (14 floz) of water and combine well. Add the coconut milk and coriander. Stir, cover and cook over a low heat for about 35 minutes, or until done.
I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week