p Box o' Spices: Hotel Chicken Kurma

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hotel Chicken Kurma

Some days you suddenly remember a dish you ate somewhere and know you cant get it where you live. I live in Hyderabad and have always felt the lack of a good south indian non veg restaurant. I grew up in POndicherry and there was a restaurant (or should i say "hotel") called "Salem biryani hotel". It was one of those places where you cant really have a cosy meal but the food is to die for. They made the best biryani and fish fry. In later years I got exposed to the chettinad and military style restaurants in Chennai. Particularly Ponnuswamy. They served a watery chicken kurma. It was unlimited and they just had pots of it and walked around serving it. You could order idly or idiappam (Rs.4 per piece during my college days) and have a yummy meal in under 20 Rs thanks to the chicken kurma. This was not a rich gravy or one with lots of chicken. It was a yellow, thin gravy.

So anyway, a decade later, here I am in Hyderabad suddenly wanting that chicken gravy. I try to remember what it was like. I know it was yellow. and the chicken was very soft. almost falling off the bone. It was mostly bones i think... they probably made it with bones leftover from all the other chicken dishes. It was not very spicy. After browsing around for similar looking dishes, here's my attempt at recreating it, and I must admit, it was pretty close.

Set 1:
Jeera -1 tsp
Saunf - 1 tsp
Khus khus - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds - 2 tsp
cardamom - 2
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Cashews - 8-10

Set 2:
Green chilies - 5
Grated coconut - 0.5 cup
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Shallots (small onions) - a handful (about 50 grams). peeled and sliced
mint leaves - about 15
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp
Dalia / pottu kadalai - 1 tbsp

Set 3:
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder - 1 tsp or to taste (I added kashmirilal mirchi, so it came out a bit red)
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp

Dry roast ingredients in set 1. Fry set 2 in a tsp of oil. Grind together the 3 sets into a smooth paste adding water as needed.

Onions - 4 medium (200 grams) - chopped fine
Tomato - 2 - chopped fine
Jeera - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Chicken - 1 kg. cut into small pieces

Heat some oil, add jeera. Then add onions and fry till soft. Add the tomatoes and fry till soft. Add the masasla paste and salt and cook for 2 min. Then add the chicken, lemon juice and cook for another 2 minutes mixing well. Add water and pressure cook for 3 whistles. You have to pressure cook a bit more than usual, so that the chicken gets very soft. Open the pressure cooker and check the chicken. Boil with lid open for a while if necessary. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. This goes well with plain white rice, biryani or a plain ghee rice. We had it with paati's Thengai sadam.

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At 1:27 AM, Blogger Anamika said...

Dear Spice Lover
Wish you a very happy Christmas and exciting New 2008.
Tried new wedding cake and a birthday cake.Do have a look.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger Sagari said...

plate with rice and chicken looks delecioussss

At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:52 PM, Blogger Spicelover said...

Thanks... and wish you a great holiday too. I took a look and as always your cakes were amazing!!

Sagari: Thanks. It was.

At 12:34 AM, Blogger SUGARCRAFT INDIA said...

A very nice post indeed...am thinking of using the gravy for egg curry...what do you say? coz no chicken in my house !!!
Wishing you a very happy n prosperous new year!!

At 3:49 AM, Blogger Spicelover said...

Hi Sugarcrafter....
I think this would work well as an egg curry too. Speaking of egg curry I actually have one in my draft that I havent posted.
Wish you a great new year too!!

At 7:56 AM, Blogger Asha said...

OH MY! SP, glad I came here.I think you posted this when I was on a break. Hotel Kurma first and now this. Looks absolutely delicious!I will try, thanks for the recipe.
Happy new year darling!:)

At 12:43 AM, Blogger Spicelover said...

Hi Asha
Welcome back!!!
Do let me know how it turns out!!

At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 2:11 PM, Blogger vimmi said...

Lovely looking chicken dish. We love chciken and i am always on a lookout for good chicken dishes. will try this soon

At 6:08 AM, Blogger Spicelover said...

Hi Vimmi... welcome.
pls let me know how it turns out

At 3:56 AM, Blogger Home said...

This looks really appetising!!!


At 6:39 AM, Blogger Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

where art thou ?

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