Till a few years back, most Mallus hardly bought chicken from the store. They preferred to rear their chicken at home, I suspect it is so in some areas even today, though definitely not so around the towns & cities. I remember seeing chicks running around people's yard, when we used to visit some of our country-side relatives when i was a kid. It used to be a very exciting sight for us kids back then. The aunties used to grab one of them for the visitors for lunch, and before you knew it, the merry chick who was running around a while ago, would soon be on our plates and no sooner inside our tummies. I used to feel sorry for the chicken, but only till the minute it was served on my plate, after which my appetite always used to weigh more than the grievances about the chicken, so i would just pray for the chicken's soul and focus on attacking what's on my plate. After all, that's the circle of life... Those were the days... the store bought chicks which reach adulthood in less than 28 days eating all that junk food (or whatever it is that they feed them to make them grow so fat in so few days) never taste the same as the one which grew up slow and steady in the yard, eating the garden insects & the earthworms. But I'm not complaining, something's definitely better than nothing.... So we'll have to satisfy our chicken cravings with the junk-food-eating-chicks.
So here's how those country-side aunties used to prepare the chicken....
Chicken 1 kg cut into small pieces
Onions 5-6 sliced
Shallots 10-15 sliced
Green chillies 2-3 Slit in half
Ginger 2" piece crushed well
Garlic 1 pod crushed
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder 3-4 tsp
Corriander powder 4-5 tsp
Oil 1 cup, preferably coconut oil
Salt to taste
Lots of curry leaves
- Fry the turmeric, curry leaves, 1/2 of the chilly powder, corriander powder & salt. Marinate the chicken in this mixture for about 30 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a wok or a pan & saute the onions & shallots on a medium flame, till they start turning into a golden brown color. Lower the heat, and add the green chillies & remaining chilly powder. Saute for a few seconds and add the marinated chicken pieces.
- Keep stirring for about 5 mins, then add some water and close the lid and let it simmer on a medium flame for about 10 mins.
- Add the curry leaves, ginger and garlic, and some more salt if required. Cook for another 10 mins on a slow flame.
- Once you've opened the lid, keep stirring for about 10 more mins (the chicken shouldn't get mashed up) , or till the gravy reduces. The gravy's consistency should be thick, but not dry.