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Monday, 28 November 2016

Kerala Chicken Stew


When I asked my friends for a dish in Christmas eve, the first name popped up was vattayappam and chicken stew. I was very glad ...yes, it is my favorite dish too... I do this frequently at home as nalumani palaharam (evening snack) for my kids. We love to have chicken stew with appam but most of the time we prefer vegetable stew.

Let me say some words about the recipe. It is an aromatic dish made with chicken and some vegetables in mildly spiced coconut milk.  We can choose to add any vegetables like carrot, beans, green peas, cauliflower, etc.. which are very commonly available in our pantry.

The stew can be prepared with only chicken and potatoes, if you don’t want to add any vegetables, but these veggies give some additional glance to it. You can add any vegetables of your choice and also some dry fruits also like cashews, raisins etc.

If you want stew little bit spicy, add some crushed pepper corns at the end. This will increase the flavor also.

We can prepare it very easily by simply pressure cooking all the ingredients except thick coconut milk. Pour the thick coconut milk at the end when everything is cooked well. Then season with some fresh coconut oil. This is an easy version of chicken stew. But the taste is a little bit different from the version described here. If you are in a hurry, go for this also.

Finally, try to use fresh coconut milk by grating and squeezing fresh coconut as traditionally done in Kerala. That would give a wonderful chicken stew.



 Kerala Chicken stew

Author: Anju Aneesh
Cuisine: India, Kerala
Recipe type: Side dish
Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Kg chicken, cut into small pieces
  • 1 big onion, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, cubed
  • 1 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 1" piece ginger, chopped or crushed
  • 2 to 3 green chilies, slit lengthwise
  • 4 cardamom
  • 1" piece cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 6 to 7 cashew nuts
  • 1 1/2 cup thin coconut milk
  • 3/4  cup thick coconut milk
  • 5 to 6 shallots
  • 1 spring curry leaves
  • 3 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Salt to taste

Direction of preparation of chicken stew

  1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Saute cardamom, cinnamon and cloves till it splutters.
  2. Add onion, ginger and green chilies. Saute till the onion turns transparent.
  3. Add carrots and potatoes and saute for a few minutes.
  4. Add chicken pieces, salt, cashew and thin coconut milk. Pressure cook for two whistles.
  5. Wait till the pressure releases, open the cooker and boil again till the gravy reduced to half.
  6. Garnish with fried shallots and curry leaves or you can season with some coconut oil.
  7. Serve with Appam, Vattayappam, chappathi and puttu.




Let us see the detailed description with step by step pictures


  1. Take a pressure cooker and add two to three tablespoons of oil.
  2. Add cardamom (4), cinnamon (1"), clove (4) and saute till crackle. 
  3. Add chopped onion, ginger and green chilies and saute till translucent. No need to brown.
  4. Add chopped potatoes and carrots. Saute for another few minutes.
  5. Add cashew nuts, 
  6. chicken,
  7. Then pour about 1 1/2 cups thin coconut milk,
  8. salt to taste and pressure cook it for two whistles.
  9. Wait till the pressure leaves. The coconut milk will curdle, don't worry, this is quite common, gently mix everything. Cook again till the gravy reduce to half.
  10. Then add thick coconut and immediately switch off the stove. 
  11. Heat oil in a pan and saute curry leaves and shallots till the shallots turn golden brown.
  12. Add this on top of the curry. Serve with appam, or chapati.

My notes on chicken stew


  1. If you crush whole spices a bit, the flavors will enhance.
  2. After pressure cooking, the coconut milk may curdle. This is quite usual, just mix well before adding thick milk.
  3. I used chicken with bones and I bought exactly 500 grams cleaned chicken in this recipe.
  4. Also immediately switch off the stove after adding thick coconut milk.
  5. We can make chicken stew little bit spicy by adding some crushed peppercorns.
  6. Add a pinch of garam masala at the end to make the stew more flavorful.
  7. Try to use freshly squeezed coconut milk.


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