CHICKEN KUZHAMBU…a specialty of Tamil Nadu is spicy Kuzhambu / gravy cooked in coconut, cashews and other spices. Its my favourite and I learned this from my mom as always. Chicken Kuzhambu is a staple food in Tamil Nadu. It compliments well with rice, Idly, Dosa, Biryani and chapati too. I like this with idly the most (Don’t ask me how many idlis I eat, You don’t wanna know ;) ) This gravy is so delicious and simple to cook. I cook this in a pressure cooker, but if you are cooking it in a cooking pot then you need to cook it till the chicken in done and oil separates from the gravy.
Many of us in the down south make our own chilli powder at home. It a unique blend of spices with dried red chillies. In what way its different from the red chilli powder is, one its not deep red in colour its bit deep orange and two its less spicier than the red chilli powder. My mom makes her own and that's what she uses for all South Indian Kuzhambu / gravies. Its very aromatic and it not only gives spiciness to the gravy but also some flavour to it. But if you can’t make this chilli powder at home then red chilli powder is ok. But I tell you there will be a slight difference in taste and aroma.
A Kg of Chicken on Bone
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
Few Curry Leaves
1 1/2 Cups of Chopped Shallots
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 1/2 tbsp of Home Made Chilli Powder
4 tbsp of Gingelly Oil
2 – 3 Cups of Water
Salt to Taste
To Be Ground Into Smooth Paste:
1/2 Cup of Coconut
6 Cashew Nuts
1 tbsp Fennel Seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp of Toasted Poppy Seeds
Ground the coconut and other ingredients into a fine smooth paste.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Once hot crackle fennel seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Now add the onions and sauté till they turn golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté for a min. Tumble in the chicken and stir for a min.
Now add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt. See the colour of the chilli powder, its orange not red. Cook this for 2 – 3 min covered.
Now add the coconut paste, give it a nice mix and cook for another couple of min covered.
The gravy needs to be a little thick if you are having it with rice, dosa or chapati. But if you are having it with idly then you will have to add bit more water, coz idly absorbs lot of gravy. So the quantity of water I have given is approx. Add as much or as less as you want the consistency to be. Let it come to a boil. Now check for salt and spiciness and sprinkle coriander.
Now put the pressure cooker lid on and cook on full pressure till it gives two sounds. Take it off the heat and let it rest till the pressure has released by itself.