First time when I and my husband moved together after marriage we lived in San Francisco bay area. Those were one of the most fun times of our lives ( well! mine atleast..will have to ask about his). We had a tiny one bedroom apartment which I still crave to move back into! Made several new friends and got to know a lot new cultures and food. I guess that was the time when I started to cook in my own kitchen for the first time that this affinity to food began.
At that time we became friends with this cute couple ( I would not mention the name here) from Managlore. She was so sweet and what a great cook. She introduced me to many new recipes and one of them was this chicken curry she used to make which was a typical mangalorian recipe. I just fell in love with that chicken curry and me and my husband still are in love with it.
In the southern part of India there's a liberal use of coconut and curry leaves. That probably distinguishes it from the typical north Indian food. Curry leaves give it a different aroma and coconut lends a hint of sweetness to it which is unbelievable. Mostly South Indian dishes are paired with rice or any preparation of rice but being from north India chapattis are more staple to me so I paired it with that but you can even eat this chicken with rice or parathas or naan or even idli, dosa or appam. Choice is yours.
For curry paste:
1/2 cup grated coconut
1 cup chopped onion
Red pepper- 1-2 tsp ( according to heat you can take)
Peppercorn- 12-25 no.
3-4 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
2 tbsp coriander powder
2 cups coconut milk ( this much would be good for both the paste as well as the gravy)
turmeric- 1 tsp
For the main dish:
3 cups chicken cubes ( I used only breast but that's because that was available, you can use any part )
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 tbsp curry powder
a small bunch of curry leaves
3 tbsp olive oil
tomato paste- 2 tbsp ( I didn't have it handy so I just pureed half tomato and used that instead)
First it would be better to prepare the curry paste. This paste can even be made in bulk just increase the quantity of the ingredients and stored in the refrigerator for weeks.
To make the paste I first heated a pan brown the grated coconut. After that set it aside and in the same pan add a little oil and fry the chopped 1 cup onion. Now mix all the ingredients and blend it all together to make a thick paste. Use coconut milk while grinding it to make the paste.
Then I took a pot and heated it. Added oil to it and threw in thinly sliced onion to it. Now you have to fry it until its a little golden and then you add your chicken and stir it for a few minutes before adding the curry powder and tomato paste into it. When I saw that chicken is half done I added salt to it and the curry paste. Fried it for about 5 mins and when I saw it leaving a little oil on the sides of the pan I just added coconut milk to it and let it simmer until chicken was well cooked.
If you want to garnish it, just use a little cilantro or lemon too if you want. I served it with fulkas or home made chapattis.