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Conjure the flavours of an Indian kitchen

9 April 2020

Holidays in Asia often turn out to be culinary expeditions thanks to the diverse range of dishes available across the entire continent. To whet your appetite, here's an easy recipe for coconut chicken stew from the South Indian state of Kerala that you could try at home. It's light on spice, but is still authentic and a delight for your taste buds as you relax on a rainy autumnal afternoon, perhaps imagining yourself cruising Kerala's exotic backwaters.

Coconut Chicken Stew

Ingredients Serves 4-6

  • 1.2 kg skinless chicken on the bone cut to medium pieces
  • 150 g white onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 green chilli, slit lengthwise
  • 2" cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4-5 green cardamom pods
  • 12-14 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper powder
  • 150 mls water
  • Salt to taste
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 1/2"piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, thinly sliced
  • Coriander to garnish
  1. Using a blender, make a fine, smooth paste with the white onion and the garlic cloves, adding 30mls of water as you blitz.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep sauté pan over medium heat; add the green chilli, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, and half the curry leaves. Fry until the spices crackle for a few seconds. Add the onion-garlic paste and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and mix well, sautéing long enough to seal them on all sides while stirring well. Sprinkle in the black pepper powder and mix well.
  3. Add the water, season to taste and bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat with the lid on for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Make sure to stir half way through, checking that it's not too dry. Add a touch more water if required. Now pour in the coconut milk and let it simmer for another 8 minutes with the lid on.

  4. Garnish with fresh ginger, chilli, coriander and the remaining curry leaves and serve alongside fragrant rice.

This article was originally posted on Rail Discoveries blog on 14th Oct 2019.