Test your Taste in Spice

It is believed that South Indian cuisine heavily relies on coconut and curry leaves, which is true. There was this one incident during my hostel days in South India when the chef had refused to cook because there were no curry leaves in the pantry. The food arrived half an hour late than usual. Since then, whenever I feel like cooking South Indian, I make sure I have fresh curry leaves. Well, jokes apart they have antioxidant properties and aid in digestion. I personally just love the aroma of curry leaves.

However, there are a couple of recipes which actually don’t rely on coconut and curry leaves. One of them is the fiery red ghee roast chicken. Well, here the roast doesn’t mean baking in the oven but dry roasting some whole spices. This particular recipe of chicken curry was inspired by ghee roast chicken. However, I added my twists.

In the original recipe, the red color and the heat is due to the dried red chilies. But I am not a huge fan of dried red chili. In my version, the red color is partly from dried chilies and partly from paprika. This recipe is high on the Spice level. Therefore, in the end, I have suggested changes for people with medium and low-level spice tolerance.

ghee roast chicken

Photo of Spicy chicken curry
Recipe of Spicy ghee roast chicken

Preparation time: 15 min
Serves: 2-3
Cooking time: 30 min

Ingredients

Chicken (thighs) 500gms
Garlic 2-3 large
Ginger paste 1 tbsp
Paprika (sweet) 1tbsp
Green chili 1-2
Clarified butter (ghee) 4 tbsp
Curry leaves (optional) 6-7
lime juice 2 tbsp
Marinade
Curd 3 tbsp
Turmeric ½ tsp
Salt
Spice mix
Dried red chilies 5
Coriander seeds 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tbsp
Fennel seeds ½ tsp
Whole black peppercorns 10-12

Method

  1. Marinate the chicken pieces with curd, turmeric, and salt. Keep it aside.
  2. Heat a pan and dry roast the ingredients under Spice mix. Once they get slightly roasted blend them into a fine paste with ginger, garlic, and a little water.
  3. Heat the ghee in a deep bottom pan, cook the red Spice mix till the oil is released from sides. Add the marinated chicken pieces. Cook on high heat for a couple of minutes. Then cover and cook over medium heat. Add water, very little at a time if needed. The masala should coat the chicken pieces. Once cooked through, add the juice of half a lime and sprinkle the fresh curry leaves. Mix well and then turn off the heat. Serve with rice, dosa or appams.

 

Medium heat level: leave out the peppercorns and the green chili.

Low heat level: leave out the peppercorns, green chili and use half the dried red chili. Add little more curd and lime juice.

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