I was watching an interesting cookery show on NDTV Good Times recently. The host was talking to a chef from Kerala about a Pachamullagu Kozhy curry that the latter was about to make. It sounded promising and I had my laptop ready to take down the recipe. As luck would have it, I got a call I could not ignore from office, and since we were discussing technical issues, I had to concentrate completely on the call. When the call ended, I hastened to unmute the T.V, but the show had already reached the point where the host tastes the curry and exclaims how delicious it is.
I liked the idea of using pachamullagu or green chilies and not the usual red chilli powder. And when I was asked to make a "different" chicken curry at home the next time we got chicken, I decided to try out my own version of pachamullagu kozhy curry. I did not have a plan as such, except that I was going to use plenty of green chilies, and I added ingredients as and when I thought the curry needed something. So after going through the recipe, if you feel there is an easier (or more sensible) way of doing things, do let me know of it.
1. 1 kg Chicken cut into medium pieces and cleaned
2. 10 green chilies, slit length wise
3. 4 dry red chilies, broken in half
4. 2 medium onions, chopped finely
5. 1½ tbsp garlic, finely chopped
6. 1½ tbsp ginger, finely chopped
7. 1½ tsp coriander powder
8. 1½ tsp pepper powder
9. 1 tsp garam masala
10. 1 tbsp green chili sauce
11. ½ tsp turmeric powder
12. 1 tbsp plain flour or maida
13. ½ cup coriander leaves, chopped
14. 1 tsp mustard seeds
15. salt to taste
16. 3-4 tbsp oil
Heat oil in a non stick pan. Saute onions till they are light brown. Add green chilies, ginger and garlic and continue sauteing for a few minutes, till the mixture is fragrant. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
Add some more oil to the pan and saute maida on low heat till it changes colour lightly. Add coriander powder and turmeric and fry for a few seconds on low heat. Then add the chicken and mix well, so that it is coated well with the sauteed powders.
After a few minutes, add green chili sauce, garam masala, pepper, sauteed onions and salt. Mix everything well. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook through, stirring once in a while.
Heat oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add broken red chilies and fry for a few seconds. Add this final seasoning and the chopped coriander leaves to the curry. Heat for a few more minutes, till the coriander leaves have wilted.
Serve hot with rice or chappathi.
This chicken curry is very mildly spiced. If you want a more fiery curry, increase the amount of green chilies or pepper. Keep in mind that different varities of green chili have different level of heat, so adjust the quantity accordingly. A rule of thumb is that the smaller and thinner the chili, the spicier it is. And do eat the green chilies as well, they taste fabulous.