KORI GASSI (manglorean style chicken curry)

Kori Gassi or manglorean style chicken curry is a traditional and popular dish made with an array of aromatic spices, chillies, curry leaves, tamarind and coconut milk – having loads of depth, flavour and aroma.

The use of fresh coconut and spices is important in preparing this curry. The coconut and spices are first dry roasted separately and blended together into a fine smooth paste. Towards end of the curry, fresh coconut milk is added to enhance its taste. A delicate combination and sweetness from the coconut milk balances the heat from the chillies. Adjust heat as per preference. This curry can be prepared with vegetables, mutton and prawns too. Back home, I had prepared this curry with country chicken – simple bliss! Enjoy this deliciously lip-smacking curry with rice, dosa, rotti (rice wafers), sannas, appams or pundi (rice balls).

prep time : 30 mins, cooking time : 45 mins, serves : 6-8, cuisine : mangalore, author : gloria

Ingredients

1 kg chicken (cut/washed/drained)

½ tsp ground turmeric

sea-salt to taste

1/2-1 cup thick extract of coconut milk

½ cup thin extract of coconut milk or water

marble sized tamarind

2 sprigs of curry leaves

coconut oil/ghee

for the masala paste :

10 byadagi chillies

5 dry bird’s eye chillies

1 ½ tbsp whole coriander seeds

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp fenugreek seeds

½ cup grated coconut

1 medium sized onion (sliced)

4 big garlic cloves (chopped)

for tempering/tadka :

1 cinnamon stick

2 cloves

1 small onion (chopped/sliced)

few curry leaves

Mise en place

Marinate the cleaned chicken with sea-salt and turmeric. Reserve.

Soak a marble sized tamarind in half cup warm water for 15 mins or until it becomes soft. Mash it using your fingers; strain it in a fine sieve and discard seeds, if any. Keep aside.

Method

Tip a teaspoon of oil/ghee in a skillet; reduce heat and roast the spices separately until fragrant and changes colour. Remove and transfer it to a bowl.

Now, add the grated coconut into the same skillet and roast on a slow heat till it reaches light brown colour. Once, it changes colour, tip in the onion and garlic. Sauté for few minutes. Switch off heat and allow it to cool completely.

In a blender, grind all the roasted masala ingredients into a fine smooth paste, adding very little water.

Into a pre-heated oil/ghee, tip few curry leaves and add the prepared masala paste; sauté till oil emanates at the edges.

Add the marinated chicken; mix till all the masalas are well coated to the chicken.

Now, add the 2nd extract of coconut milk or water; stir and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat; cover with a lid and cook till the chicken is tender.

Uncover and add the tamarind pulp. Simmer for few more minutes and pour in thick extract of coconut milk. Adjust seasoning and switch off heat.

Let’s do the tempering/tadka. Add ghee or coconut oil in a small pan. Reduce heat to low and tip in cinnamon and cloves; stir for few seconds. Add curry leaves. Once splutters, add the chopped/sliced onion. Sauté till it reaches golden brown in colour. Add this mixture to the prepared curry.

Garnish and serve hot over rice, sannas or pundi.

Recipe – PUNJABI STYLE MUTTON CURRY

This mutton curry comes from the heart of Punjab which makes one drool and head straight to the kitchen. A simple and easy curry with aromatic spices and great flavour.

I make this curry very often and it is one of my family favourites. A dish for all meat-lovers with an appetizing aroma which is irresistable. The most popular, delicious punjabi style mutton curry goes well with rice, naan or rotis and would surely make you go ‘Balle Balle….’

Here in this recipe, the meat is cooked with aromatic spices and does not need any marination. The cooking time of the meat varies depending upon the quality of the meat. Adjust spice amount to suit your palate. The consistency of gravy is a thin-soup like consistency. To make it more flavourful, add punjabi style garam masala towards the end of the dish. For the punjabi style garam masala click  here.

prep time : 20 mins, cooking time : 50-55 mins, serves : 6, cuisine : punjab, author : gloria

Ingredients

600 gms goat meat (cut/washed/cleaned)

2-3 medium sized onions (chopped)

2-3 medium sized tomatoes

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

3 large tbsp pure desi ghee

2½-3 cups water

salt to taste

whole spices :

1 big dried bay leaf

3 green cardamom

1 black cardamom

1” cassia cinnamon stick

3-4 cloves

3-4 black peppercorns

Make a masala paste by adding little water:

1½ tsp chilly powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1½ tsp Punjabi style garam masala

Method

In a blender, puree tomatoes and keep aside.

Heat ghee in a large skillet, add onions; once translucent, add the whole spices and continue to saute till the onions reach golden brown in colour, without burning.

Add ginger-garlic paste and stir for a minute till it becomes fragrant.

Now, add the tomato puree; give a good mix and tip in the masala powder paste and fry till oil releases at the edges.

Into this, add the cleaned meat and mix well for 8 minutes on medium-high heat stirring constantly till it changes colour to light brown.

At this stage, add water; stir to combine well and bring it to a boil.

Simmer and add salt according to taste. Cover with a lid and allow it to cook on low heat till the meat becomes juicy, soft and succulent.

Finally, add a large pinch of garam masala (punjabi style); stir and switch off heat.

Dish up with hot steamed rice, parathas, naan or rotis with a slice of onion and lemon at the side.

Enjoy!!!

My observations/notes:

  • can use mustard oil instead of ghee

  • can be prepared with lamb meat also

Recipe – DUCK ROAST (nadan tharavu roast)

Duck roast or tharavu roast is a classic traditional dish of Kerala. It is prepared on Christmas or Easter celebrations and is hugely enjoyed by everyone. Duck roast is one of the many dishes my mum-in-law cooks for Christmas annual lunch and we all devour every bite, forgetting the calories. There are many variations and one such variation I am sharing today.

prep time : 35 mins, cooking time : 50-55 mins, serves : 6, cuisine : kerala, author : gloria

Ingredients

1 kg duck with skin

2 cups sliced shallots

5-6 nos big garlic cloves (chopped/sliced)

2 inch ginger (chopped)

5-6 nos green chillies (chopped or slit)

1 cup boiling water

2 spring curry leaves

coconut oil

salt to taste

Spice powders:

1½ to 2 heaped tbsp coriander powder

1 tsp chilly powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp fennel powder

2 tsp pepper powder

1 ½ tsp garam masala (preferably home-made)

To marinate :

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ tsp crushed peppercorns

1 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp vinegar

1 tsp rock salt

To garnish (optional) :

1/2 cup fried onions (slice onion and deep fry in oil)

1/2 cup fried potatoes (slice potatoes, add turmeric, salt; deep-fry or shallow-fry in oil)

Method

Cut the meat into medium pieces and clean nicely. Marinate duck pieces mentioned under ‘to marinate’ for 30 minutes. Reserve.

Heat coconut oil in a skillet; tip in shallots. When translucent and soft, add green chillies, ginger, garlic and continue to saute until the shallots turn golden brown in colour over medium heat.

Add the spice powders; stir fry on low heat constantly for a minute until fragrant and the raw smell leaves, without burning the spices.

Into this, add the marinated duck pieces, few curry leaves and boiling water. Mix to combine well; cover with a lid and cook on medium heat until it is 85-90% cooked*.

Now, take a wok, tip in oil and add few curry leaves. Fish out the duck pieces and deep fry both sides of the meat in batches for 2 mins. Keep aside.

Meanwhile, reduce the gravy* and thicken it; add the fried duck pieces, curry leaves. Simmer and stir to incorporate everything together as one single mass, masalas well coated to the meat and till a roasted texture is obtained. Adjust seasoning accordingly.

Finally, add a pinch of garam masala, pepper powder, a teaspoon of coconut oil, fried onions and fried potatoes. Allow it to sit at room temperature for few hours before serving.

Serve duck roast with rice, palappams or bread of your choice.

My observations/notes:

  • it can be made slightly wet or dry.

  • shallots can be replaced with 3 nos onions

Recipe – CAMBODIAN CHICKEN CURRY

When I saw Cambodian chicken curry or khmer chicken samlá at lovely Dhanaya’s blog, my quest to learn more about it widened and expanded my repertoire of everyday dishes; an adventure that I heartily embrace. What I found out in my journey is when we learn about ingredients from cultures beyond your own, food becomes a bridge that builds mutual respect. Thank you Dhanaya for introducing me to Khmer cuisine.

The beauty of Cambodia lies in their cuisine and the simplicity of Khmer people. The food has much more in common with its neighbouring countries, strong Indian influences, yet holds onto its own unique aromatic flavour and taste that are distinctively Cambodian. One of my acquaintances notes khmer cuisine has a delicate balance between sweetness, sourness, saltiness and bitterness with a keen appreciation for textures.

Cambodian curry paste called as kroeung is the foundation of khmer food. One of the advantage of kroeung paste is it can be made in advance and kept refrigerated or frozen; however, it is always best when fresh. It is prepared by pounding the ingredients in a mortar pestle along with a complex blend of spices. The main ingredients used in khmer cooking are prahok, galangal, kaffir lime leaves/rind, lemongrass and tamarind. Since fish is found in abundance, the most prominent and unique khmer ingredient is the use of prahok (fermented fish paste) which gives volume and depth of flavour to the dish.

Following the original recipe, I made chicken samlá for the first time; my son who does not eat chicken gobbled up every last little bit of it only to say ‘gimme more’ which amazed me, also was pleased about it; since then this curry has been a regular and favourite to all.  I try preparing different variations every time I cook it.

Made this dish with whatever available ingredients I could find at my place. Have used galangal powder (though I believe the taste differs) and used fermented shrimp paste instead of prahok. Khmer samlá is somewhere between stews and soups. It is an intensely fragrant, zesty, creamy and delicious dish hugely enjoyed with rice or some french baguette.

Have tried it with meat and added vegetables like carrot, potato, eggplants and sweet potato – tastes great! It can also be made with prawns too, however add prawns few minutes at the end of cooking period. Next time, if I get my hands on fresh galangal, fish paste (hopefully) and kaffir lime leaves, shall try it again.

Recipe originally adapted from ‘thespiceadventuress.com’ with slight changes made towards it.

prep time : 25 mins, cooking time : 35 mins, serves : 4-6, cuisine : cambodian, author : gloria

Ingredients

10-12 chicken drumsticks (skinned)

½ cup thick coconut milk

½ cup thin coconut milk

½ cup chicken stock

1 ½ tbsp shrimp paste

1 tsp palm sugar

oil

salt to taste

to be pounded to a smooth paste*:

2 stalks of fresh lemongrass

dry large red chillies (as per tolerance)

1 tsp preserved lime rind

1 tsp white peppercorns

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp galangal powder

1 tbsp tamarind concentrate

8 Asian shallots

4 big garlic cloves

Method

Remove tough outer layers of the lemongrass stems and trim off the hard part at the root end, the tender inner flesh is what we need for cooking; cut into thin roundels.

Pound all the ingredients mentioned above* by hand using a mortar pestle; alternatively, you could blend everything in a food processor or blender, if you want to. This forms our curry paste.

Now, taking a small piece of aluminum foil, spoon the shrimp paste into the centre and wrap it to form a little parcel; dry roast it in a pan on medium heat on each side for a minute till it becomes fragrant and releases flavours; (do not burn it). Remove from the heat and allow it to cool slightly and then peel back the foil. Mix the cooked shrimp paste and pound together to blend with the curry paste**.

Heat oil in a wok over moderate heat, add the prepared paste** and stir-fry.  Reduce the heat on low and allow it to cook for 11-12, stirring occasionally, till oil releases at the edges of the pan.

Now, add the chicken and continue to cook further without adding any liquid for 8 minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the wok.

Add the chicken stock, salt and palm sugar; mix and cover with a lid; cook further till tender and desired consistency is obtained.

Finally, add the coconut milk and simmer gently for 2 mins; switch off heat.

my observations/notes:

  • for a vegetarian version, replace chicken with tofu.

  • can use whole chicken with bones instead of chicken drumsticks

  • can use anchovy paste instead of shrimp paste

  • add little oil on top to maintain the freshness of kroeung when kept frozen

  • can use store-bought coconut milk

Recipe – SEYAL GOSHT

Sindhi cuisine refers to the cuisine of Sindhi people from Sindh of the Indus Valley civilization which has being hugely influenced by neighbouring Indian cuisines. It is vibrant with unique flavours of its own and the beauty lies in its simplicity. It is neither too spicy nor too bland.

One such Sindhi delicacy is the ‘Seyal Gosht’ preparation – where meat or vegetables are cooked in perfection with its own juices without adding water at all. The onions, tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste form the base of the dish. The meat is slow-cooked till juicy and tender, melt-in-the-mouth will surely salivate your taste-buds, a true delight for all meat lovers. The pounded powders of cardamom and shahi jeera really lifts this wonderful dish to an extreme new level with full of aromatic, unique and distinctive flavours. Thanks to my brother who introduced me to Sindhi food and I love creating different variations of sindhi dishes and savouring them. My sister-in-law who belongs to the sindhi community makes delicious vegetarian seyal dish which I shall post sometime later.

Here, the meat is braised with onions, tomatoes, hung curd or yogurt and fresh herb; flavoured with whole and ground spices; having thick texture; slow-cooked to give a rich outstanding flavour. To make ginger-garlic-green chilly paste grind 1” ginger, 4 big garlic and green chillies in a mortar pestle. Serve this delicious and satisfying curry along side kadhi, rotis or rice.

Succulent and juicy slow-cooked meat with onion, tomato, herb, yogurt and blend of aromatic and distinctive spices.

prep time : 15 mins, cooking time : 1 hr, serves : 4, cuisine : sindhi, author : gloria

Ingredients

500 gms meat (mutton or lamb – with bone)

3 large onion (finely sliced or chopped)

2 medium sized tomatoes (pureed)

200 gms hung curd or yogurt (lighten beaten)

1 tbsp ginger-garlic-green chilly paste

handful of coriander leaves

½ tsp shahi jeera

½ tsp cardamom

whole spices : 1 mace, 1 brown cardamom, 1 cassia cinnamon (dalchini)

masala powders: make a paste with little water*

¼ tsp haldi

½ tsp chilly powder

1 ½ to 2 heaped tsp coriander powder

½ tsp cumin powder

1 tsp garam masala

salt to taste

oil

Method

Cut, clean and pat-dry meat pieces and keep aside.

Meanwhile, make a paste of coriander leaves and 1 big green chilly, in a blender and marinate the cleaned meat with this paste along with hung curd or yogurt. Leave it for few hours or preferably overnight.

Take a wok or heavy bottom vessel, keeping the heat on medium; add oil. Lower heat and add the whole spices; stir until fragrant for few seconds.

Add onions; saute for few minutes and add ginger-garilic-green chilly paste and continue to saute till the onions reach golden brown in colour.

Now, add the masala paste* and stir well to blend together without burning the spice powders. Tip in the pureed tomatoes and fry for 3-4 mins or so.

Add the marinated meat; stir constantly and cook for 5 mins on high heat. Add salt and reduce heat; cover with a lid and allow the meat to cook slowly for about 30-40 minutes, stirring half-way through till done and oil emanates at the top.

Finally, pound caraway seeds and cardamom into a coarse powder; add it to the dish for an aromatic and distinctive flavour. Combine nicely and switch off heat after 3 mins.

Garnish and serve it along side sindhi kadhi, papad and boondi raita; enjoy!