Sunday, 29 December 2019

Varutharacha Kozhi - Chicken Simmered In Spicy Coconut Base


Varutharacha kozhi - Chicken simmered in spicy coconut gravy.

Varutharacha kozhi or varutharacha chicken is a semi gravy preparation adopted from traditional Kerala cuisines. I have posted varutharacha kozhi curry a few years back which is entirely different from this one. Varutharachathu is a Malayalam word which denotes one of the most famous methods of grinding fried coconut shavings. This popular cooking method we adopt in making a different array of veg and non veg dishes.

While making this curry, you should take care of a few things.

First, you should be very careful while roasting the coconut shavings, as it burns quickly, especially when  kept the pan on high flame. To avoid that continuous stirring and medium / low flame cooking is recommended. I have used lots of oil in this step, as this is essential for uniform roasting and grinding of coconut, if you want, you can remove this excess oil, as coconut paste will settle down with time leaving a clear oil layer on top, then you can carefully discard this layer.

I haven't added water while preparing the chicken as the chicken will release water while cooking and this water will be enough for the dish to cook completely. Also adding water in varutharacha curry (dish with roasted coconut paste) will diminish its taste leaving a watery flavour behind. So never use water and if you have any fear of burning,  stir occasionally with a spoon or spatula. If there is enough oil in the pan and cooked on medium flame, then there will be no chance of burning. You should be extra careful if you remove oil from the ground coconut.

This chicken varutharachathu is an ideal combination for chapathi, idiyappam, puttu and of course for rice. Please go through the methods carefully and enjoy.

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Varutharacha kozhi | How to make Kerala's semi-dry chicken curry with roasted and ground coconut | A Traditional preparation of chicken from Kerala




Semi- dry chicken preparation with coconut and spices

Preparation time: 20 Minutes| Cooking time: 30 minutes | Total time: 50 minutes
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Ingredients



  •  1 Kg chicken
  • 10 -12 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2" pieces of ginger
  • 1 bulb of garlic, peeled and halved
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 spring curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil
To grind
  • 3/4 to 1 cup grated coconut
  • 10 -12 dried red chillies
  • 3 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp pepper corns
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup coconut oil
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Direction of preparation of varutharacha kozhi

  1. Before starting preparation of curry, we have to roast and grind coconut along with some spices. To do so, take a thick bottom pan, pour 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup coconut oil. If you want to reduce its amount, you can separate and discard after grinding. But this much oil is required to get a nice smooth roasted coconut paste, so do not reduce the quantity of oil at this stage.Put grated coconut, dried red chillies, coriander seeds and peppercorns. Make sure, the coconut is finely grated, otherwise will affect the consistency. To avoid uneven browning, we need equally grated coconut, so pulse in your mixer grinder for just one or two presses. Do not grind them, just crush it.
  2. Keep the flame on medium or low and stir in between to avoid burning. You will see nice and even change in colour and your kitchen will be filled with pleasant fragrance of spices and coconut. Keep roasting on medium flame with stirring unless the coconut turns crisp and brown. This process will take some time, so be patient and always remember to stir. (You can also keep the flame on high, but always keep an eye on them and do not stop stirring as it burn so quickly. If it burns, the coconut paste will leave bitterness to the gravy.Once the coconut turns golden brown in colour, remove from flame and wait until it cool slightly. You have stir the coconut at this stage also, as the cooking continues in hot pan. 
  3. Then transfer into the small jar of mixer grinder and grind into a smooth paste without adding water. Addition of water will spoil its taste and texture. You can separate excess oil at this stage, just keep the paste for  a few hours, the coconut paste will settle down leaving the oil layer on top. You can separate this layer carefully without disturbing the lower portion.
  4. Take another pan in which you are planning to prepare the curry, put coconut oil just enough to saute the onion and other spices. When hot, put shallots and saute till they turn soft. I will not recommend you to add more oil at this stage as the ground coconut paste contains enough oil. You can also use the separated oil for this purpose.
  5. Once the shallots turn soft, you can put chopped onion, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Keep cooking on medium flame unless it attain a light brown colour. 
  6. Pour the ground coconut paste, garam masala and vinegar. Mix well and let it boil for a few seconds. Do not add water at any stage of this chicken curry. Addition of water will spoil the curry.
  7. Put salt and chicken. Mix well and add some curry leaves. Cover with a lid and keep cooking on high flame until it start to release water, reduce the flame to low and cook until they done.
  8. The next step is seasoning. The typical Kerala style seasoning will be done, heat a small pan, pour some coconut oil, crackle mustard seeds Then reduce the flame and put cumin seeds, dried red chili and curry leaves. Wait till the spluttering stops.
  9. Pour this over the curry and close with a lid and leave it for the next half an hour, so that the flavour infuse into the curry beautifully.
  10. Serve with rice, chapati, idiyappam, etc.
Happy cooking
Anju          



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