Not your everyday chicken curry

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Chicken curry is a popular dish in India, served at every household and restaurant. The preparation however varies from region to region. The Karwar version of the chicken curry includes coconut and a concoction of spices. These are not your typical out of the box seasoning and a visit to an ethnic grocery store would be required. However, you can prepared the spice mixture ahead of time and store it in an air tight container in the freezer for a long time. 

Preparing the marinade:

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

5 to 6 whole green chilies

2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon minced ginger

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Pinch of salt

 Blend all the ingredients in a blender. Add 2 tablespoon water to make a thick paste.

Marinating the chicken:

2 tablespoon plain yogurt

2 lbs chicken pieces (with bones)

Soak the chicken in yogurt and the marinade in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour so the juices get absorbed.

Making your own dry spice mixture:

 12 whole cloves

3 whole cardamoms

12 peppercorns

6 red dried chilies

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

3 teaspoons coriander seeds

1 tablespoon anise seeds

 Place a wok or large fry pan on medium heat. Once hot, add all the spices and roast for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. The spices would release an aroma once roasted. Do not brown them. Let cool at room temperature. Then use a coffee or spice grinder to grind the spices into a powdery consistency. Store in air tight container until ready to use.

 Finishing the spice blend:

 3 medium onions, coarsely chopped

3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 1/2 cups grated coconut (unsweetened)

2 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

 In a large fry pan, heat the oil. Then fry the onions and coconut lightly. Let cool completely. Then blend with dry spice mixture until thick paste in formed. All steps till this point can be completed ahead of time.

 Cooking the chicken:

 1 small onion, finely chopped

3 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

1 teaspoon salt

In a medium size pressure cooker, heat the oil on medium heat. Fry the finely chopped onion till brown in color. Add the marinated pieces of chicken and fry it for 3 minutes. Add the spice mixture and salt to it and fry for another 2 minutes. Add a cup of water and pressure cook for approx. 7 minutes on medium heat. If the whistle blows before 7 minutes take the pressure cooker off the flame.

Serve warm with steamed rice.

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Sucheta Rawal

Sucheta is an award winning food and travel writer, who has traveled to 50+ countries across 6 continents. She is also the founder and chief editor of Go Eat Give.