Feb 28, 2011

Coconut chicken-- from the backwaters of Kerela. A largely unknown cusine from India

What is about white flakes that enthrall us?

To many white flakes suggests warm soups and log fires in cottages. To a few, I know it suggests holiday seasons and baking bonanza. To me, however it speaks of sand Vistas of flaky tropical sands stretching by blue lagoons and backwaters. Nope its not a dream. This vision comes to life in many a tropical islands. But one place such a vision makes it stand is Kerela. The lagoonal back country where legends have it that God once lived. Along the shores of the Arabian Sea, this back country in India boasts some of the most exotic and yet largely unknown cuisine of India.  

Based broadly on coconut products, the cuisine is fragrant, light and flavorful. Idyllic to boot and absent in restaurants :)

A treat for beach and tropical food lovers, edibles in kerala are scented with the seductive smells of coconut, mustard and herbs. A retreat into the lagoonal world of white sands and flaky coconuts with coconut chicken. 

All you need is a sense of bliss and a few ingredients

Very important: A packet of good quality unsweetened coconut flakes. You find them usually in whole foods or any regular groceris these days. Just ask :)
2 lb chicken. Bone in with some skin. Pieced as you see fit. But not too big. You can do drumsticks and bone in thighs too.
1.5 cups of coconut
2 cardamom, 
a few cloves
2 bay leaves
2 tsp of grated garlic
1 tsp of freshly grated ginger
1 medium onion, chopped.
1 tsp of turmeric
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup of coconut water. You can use warm water or chicken stock as well
1/2 a lemon or lime
3 tbsf olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a deep pot, heat oil. Once oil is hot, add the cloves and cardamom. Let sizzle for a few secs. Add the onion and brown em'. 2-3 mins. Add the chicken and fry for 5-6 min, turning a few times. Take 1/2 cup of coconut, mix it it with  a cup of the coconut water/water/stock and turmeric. Add it to the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Put a lid and cook through. 10 min. Open the lid, let the water dry out and oil separate out. 10 min. Add the ginger, garlic, bay leaf, milk and the remaining coconut. Mix everything well together. Let cook again for 5-7 mins. Add the juice of half a lemon.

Serve over a bed of jasmine rice. A re-treat or wat? :) A margarita on the rocks ain't a bad idea either :)

 ~ Happy eating and Healthy living~


Terrianne, Call me Ree said...

Karela sounds like a magical place. And this sounds like a magical dish. =)

Chow and Chatter said...

great curry can't beat Kerala food

Jennifurla said...

Love the addition of a margarita! ha. Lovely dish, something I need to make!

The Japanese Redneck said...

Them white flakes do be tastin' good!

Jhonny walker said...

Glad you all like it so much :)

Trix said...

Mmm, lovely with the scent of the coconut. Thanks for sharing this less commonly known (in the U.S. anyway) cuisine of India!