A spicy dish, from the generous amount of dried chillies and peppercorns. I like it the way it is, spicy! If a moderate or mild spicy taste is preferred, use a lesser amount of both the dried chillies and peppercorns. But if you can take heat pretty well, I urge you to go for it, as the chillies really make the dish! I used more than the amount of dried chillies called for, as I love really spicy dishes.
I've used desiccated coconut instead of fresh grated coconut. During simmering, I've added a couple of tablespoons of water at a time, as the dish appears dry. Not too much of water, as the chicken pieces are supposed to be coated with the thick gravy when done. I have omitted the last step with toasted fennel seeds. I'm sure it will be extremely fragrant from the fennel seeds but I was too lazy, maybe the next time.
Spicy and delicious dish. Great with white rice.
Spicy Chicken Masala (Chicken Perattal)
(Step-by-step Indian Cooking, Dhersini Govin Winodan)
1/2 cup cooking oil
3 stalks curry leaves
2 onions, peeled and sliced
1 chicken, about 1.5kg, cut into serving pieces, washed and drained\
salt to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3-4 potatoes, peeled and quartered (optional)
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp cooking oil
20 dried red chillies
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp black peppercorns
5 pods cardamom
7 shallots, peeled
2 stalks curry leaves
7 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2-inch knob ginger
2-1/2 tbsp grated coconut
1/2 cup water
- Prepare paste : Heat oil in a wok and fry dried chillies, coriander, peppercorns and cardamom for 5 minutes. Remove and fry shallots, curry leaves, garlic, ginger and grated coconut until shallots brown lightly.
- Put all paste ingredients except water into a blender. Add water bit by bit and blend mixture until very fine.
- Heat oil in a wok. Add curry leaves, then onions. Cook until onions are brown. Add paste and fry until fragrant. Add chicken pieces and stir-fry to coat completely.
- When juice start sizzling, add salt and turmeric powder. Mix well. Add potatoes now if using.
- Cover wok with a lid and allow chicken to cook gently. Remember to stir occasionally. Cook until sauce is reduced and thickened.
- Toast fennel, then grind onto a powder using a mortar and pestle. Sprinkle over chicken and serve hot with rice or breads.
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