Crumbs and I have decided that it is time we stopped misguiding you. Nope, we are not vegetable lovers. One of us even goes out of her way to avoid eating veggies (The other one does go out of her way to trick the aforementioned one to eat her broccoli, but that has more to do with intents more evil that vegetable-love.) So for all those who are a little tired of our little vegetarian act, and for the rest of you who have been more, ermmm…demonstrative of your displeasure, here’s presenting, the bestest accompaniment to our much loved, aunty pleasing neichor (4 posts down and we are already cross-referencing our previous post. We are cool that way.)-- the much demanded chicken character-actor sidekick who often wins the Oscars aka
The Default Kozhi Curry, or if you tend to be on the r-dropping, northern side of coconut belt, Koi Curry.
So, you’ll need:
7-9 pieces of chicken. Not the Abhai-Maurya’s-face-at-student-GBs- type pink blobs, the fresh, blood-oozing variety. If you are not the number crunching kind, this translates to about half a kilo.
5 to 6 big onions. When we say big, we usually mean the beautifully healthy, big, well-fed, round ones, not those silly things most marketwallas pass off as ‘pyaaz’.
3 Tomatoes. Again, the nice big ones. Not the plum sized ones (when we say plum-sized, we are mean size of a plum, which, is not impressive if you are a tomato), because they are just not the ones we use for this curry. We will give you a chance to use those, but later (Ooh, the suspense.)
Ginger- garlic paste. Just let the large company fleece you this time
Green chilli, about 4 to 5, depending on how spicy it is, and how fire-proof your stomach is.
The Powders: Turmeric- one teaspoon; Coriander- half a spoon or less (which is preferred); Chilli powder- one teaspoon; Garam masala- two tiny spoons or one and a half teaspoons; Salt- two spoons or more.
Potatoes- if required. Why anybody would take away the taste of all that yummy chicken with potatoes is beyond us, but if you belong to that part of the nation that can not imagine a meal without potatoes, please feel free to chop 2 large ones into smallish (one inch should do it) cubes, and add a little extra salt to your curry.
Thinly slice the onions. And no, we are not using the term ‘thin’ loosely here to mean half an onion. Slice them as thin as you can, the ideal being translucent slices. Yes, it’s not easy, and no, you won’t get there without practice, but it reduces your cooking time by so much that you will thank us once you get there. Separate the layers like you did while making the nei-chor. Once you have that ready, pull out a kadai, or your friendly pressure cooker, pour in some oil. Throw in the onions, get them to brown. Adding salt really helps in the sautéing process, so that would definitely be a wise move.
While that is going on, chop the tomatoes. This time, we are not concerned about the size of the pieces, and you are free to squish them. Just make sure the knife wins this battle. And remember, we are fighting the tomatoes, NOT your finger. Throw those in, stir a bit.
Grind the green chillis. You will have to do this one the hard way, so just don’t rub your eyes soon after you do this. Put in a spoonful of the ginger garlic paste and a few spoonfuls of the green chilli paste, give the whole thing a healthy stir to ensure none of it is getting overly fond of the bottom of your cooker or pan, and add in The Powders (ignore the salt, if you have added it to the onions). Once the whole thing has been mixed and cooked enough, (the hint here is to take a deep breath. If you can smell individual ingredients, keep stirring. If you can smell a whole lot of happiness, you are good at this. If you can smell smoke, reduce the fire, and stir better- you might still be able to save your dish. If you choke, thank god you did not add the chicken), add the chopped potatoes, if you really have to, and add the chicken (washed and preferably bloodless, not that we judge).
Mix it all well, making sure you are not ignoring the bottom of your vessel. Add about a glass of water and close the pressure cooker. Wait for steam to rise out of that little chimney- like thing, and put the weight on it. Wait for a whistle, turn off your stove. Do not open the cooker yet. If you are using a kadai, you of course, won’t have a whistle to wait for. You will just have to wait out about 15 mins, and then check if the chicken is tender. This you do, by opening the kadai, sticking a fork into a piece, if it goes in easily and the chicken feels soft, you are good to go. But, we suggest that you pop a tiny (the term ‘tiny’ here is rather loosely used) piece into your mouth, just to be sure.
So while you are waiting, heat some ghee (No, we do not forget lovely things like ghee), fry a few slices of onion, some cashewnuts, if you like. Now, when that is done, switch off the stove and chop some coriander leaves. Open the cooker now (assuming, of course that the steam is gone); poke the chicken to see if it is tender. If it feels like rubber, chances are you will have to cook it for a while longer probably one more whistle will do the trick. If it feels just right, pour it into a serving bowl, add the garnish, and serve it hot, with lots of our very own ghee rice.
This is guaranteed to expand that waistline a bit, but as they say- eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow, we may diet (We know that line’s been around since Dr Phil was a wee li’l lad, but it cracks us everytime. Diet. Hahahahaha. Diet!)