Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chicken Stew with Coconut Milk & Dosa (rice-lentil pancakes)




A coconut milk based stew has its origins in Kerala. That's where I lived as a child and I love it with Appams. However here I am giving you a stew which I served with dosa. Appams take more time to make, at least for me. Dosa on the other hand becomes easier especially if I have some dosa batter already prepared.

The way I make my chicken-coconut stew might be different from the way it is made in Kerala, I honestly do not know. I learned to make it from the way it tasted to my tongue. That's the way I usually learn to make dishes I eat somewhere and take a liking to. It's exciting to guess the ingredients and try it out. If it tastes the way the family likes it, the method sticks, otherwise I ask and learn. So here goes.

Ingredients:


Chicken......................................2 legs, cut into 6 pcs. ie. thighs into two keeping the drumstick whole.
Ginger........................................3/4" pc, crushed
Garlic.........................................2 big cloves, crushed
Onion.........................................1 sliced
Green cardamoms.....................5
Cinamon....................................2 sticks
Pepper corns.............................15-20
Cloves.......................................4
Fennel (saunf)..........................1 tsp, crushed
Garam masala.........................3/4 tsp
Red chilli pwdr........................1/2 tsp or acc to taste
Turmeric..................................1/4 tsp
Coriander pwdr.......................1 tsp
Carrot......................................1 big one or 2 small ones, chopped into thick strips
Peas.........................................2 tbsps
Cauliflower.............................3-4 flowerets quartered
Potato.....................................1 large one diced
Green chilli............................2 whole
Green coriander....................a small bunch
Curry leaves..........................10-12
Coconut.................................1/2 or 3/4 of a fresh one
Salt
Olive oil



Heat the oil. Drop in the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Add the curry leaves and the sliced onions. Fry till the onions shrink and begin to turn brown. Put in the crushed ginger-garlic and stir. Lower heat and add the dry masalas (red chilli, crushed fennel, turmeric, coriander) and stir it in. Saute for a minute then add the chicken and potato. Raise the heat and mix the chicken well with the masalas. When the chicken is seared, it changes colour. Now's the time to add the salt, garam masala and stir fry for a few seconds and then add the second extract of milk. Cover and allow to simmer on medium heat.

To extract coconut milk:

I use fresh coconut to make my coconut milk and I suggest you do too. Okay I know there are ready made pkts out there but I just don't like to use them. The result is never as good as with the fresh one. It's easy. Chop the coconut into small pieces. Put it into a mixer (mixie) and grind it with a little bit of water, about 1/4 cup. Now squeeze out the first milk. This is thick. Keep aside. Add a little water to the rest about 1/2 a cup and squeeze out the second milk.



When the potatoes are almost done add the other vegetables and cook till all the veggies are cooked. Now add the first extract of coconut milk and cook till it is a nice thick gravy. Remove and serve with hot dosas. Dosa mix is readily available everywhere these days so it can be made immediately as and when you want. But if you are like me and prefer to make your own batter then look below.

TIP: I keep some batter ready in the fridge for a day or two! Don't add water to the entire amount. Use as much as you need and the rest of the thick batter can be kept upto two days in the fridge.


Dosa:

Urad dal.......................1 cup
Rice..............................3 cups
Fenugreek seeds...........a few


Wash both well and soak all items for 10-12 hrs. Now grind the entire thing in a mixer (wet grinder) and leave the mixture to ferment. I usually soak the rice and dal in the morning, grind it in the night and leave it overnight to ferment. However if you are in warmer climes you could adjust timings accordingly.

Add a bit of salt to taste. Use water to make a pancake like batter. use a non-stick fry pan to make your dosas (rice pancakes)

I use an onion dipped in ghee or oil to smear a bit of oil on the pan before I spread batter for each dosa. see pic:



Enjoy a hearty meal.......




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