The first time I tried this Keralan delicacy was at this cozy,chic place in the north of Goa.
It was this rich ,spicy gravy perfectly balanced with tangy tamarind and had a lovely sweetness cutting through it with the jaggery. What was more was the combination of the light,fluffy appams that complimented it so well. A match made in heaven.
For someone who likes spice, this is a must try. And it is surprisingly pretty easy to whip up
1/2 kilo chicken( I used the leg pieces)
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1/2 cup of curd/yogurt
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons ghee
10-12 curry leaves
Masala for grinding:-
6-7 kashmiri chillies
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
3-4 big garlic cloves
1 lime sized ball of tamarind
2 tablespoons of jaggery powder
Marinate the chicken with the turmeric, curd and salt overnight or a couple of hours.
Roast the dry spices and chiilies till nice and fragrant. Dont burn the spices. Allow to cool to room temperature and then grind them to a smooth paste with tamarind,jaggery powder and garlic cloves. Add a few tablespoons of water while grinding.
In a pan,add the ghee and allow it to heat up. Add the chicken and fry on a medium to low flame for 20 minutes till 80 per cent done. Add the masala to this and mix well. Fry this mixture for 7 minutes or so till the masala darkens. Add the curry leaves and quarter cup water and cover and cook for a further 7 minutes to get a nice thick gravy.
Taste best with appams.