Thursday, December 2, 2010

Murghi Kalya: Southern Africa Chicken Curry

Even though this blog is about cooking my way through writing my dissertation, the truth is that the dissertation comes first and so I have been absent from the blog world attending to some pressing dissertation matters. In celebration of the good and not so good news that I have been receiving this week alone, I decided to cook a dish that would make me eat to my heart's content.

This Southern African Chicken Curry dish (shown in a soup version above) is truly one of a kind. Imagine making a curry dish without actually using curry, but instead using coconut, ginger, garlic, and even yogurt if you prefer. That's exactly what this Southern Africa recipe entails. It is a blend of Malay and Indian influences and I chose to master the art of making this dish because of my new found love for anything that uses coconut as an ingredient.

What's unique about this region of Africa (and this is an observation from the cookbooks that I am using) is that coconut is infused in different types of food ranging from deserts and cocktails with coconuts to dishes such as coconut shrimp as showcased in the previous blog. It is interesting to note that coconut is not only reserved for Thai food, but also dishes from Southern Africa. My version of Murghi Kalya was adapted from The African News Cookbook and the ingredients I used are:
I packet of purdue chicken breast tenderlions cut into tiny pieces
2 hot chili peppers finely sliced
4 roma tomatoes chopped into tiny pieces
4 Tbs of coconut milk
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp tumeric
2 tsp garlic, diced into tiny pieces
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp salt
1 small red onion finely sliced
1/4 cup of oil
Wash the chicken and drain in a colander. Combine the 1 tsp of cayenne pepper, cumin. tumeric, ginger, salt and pour mixture over the chicken, turning the pieces until they are well coated. Set aside for 10 minutes. Pour oil in a frying pan, gently add 1/2 of the the onions and 1 tsp of garlic and saute until gloden brown. Add the chicken and stir constantly until it's well cooked. Remove them from the pan and set aside. Using the same pan, add the remaining onions, as well as garlic, tomatoes, hot chili peppers, and the remaining spices, cayenne pepper, cumin, tumeric, ground ginger, and salt. Stir the mixture ocassionally for about 5 minutes, then set aside. In a large stew pot, add the chicken as well as the sauteed mixture and 4 Tbs of coconut milk. Reduce heat, add about 1/2 cup of water, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve with basmati rice.

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