East Indian Coconut Chicken curry

Sadly this delicious and easy curry is made using a spice that is not readily available in mainstream Indian grocery stores. Because Indian food varies so much by region and religion, most Indian people would have not even heard of a spice called East Indian Masala or Bottle Masala. I usually bring this back with me each time I visit India and treat it like gold. It’s a blend of 11 spices. This is amazing to use in chicken, fish and shrimp dishes. Because this recipe is so super simple and easy to control the spice, I thought I’d try to replicate it using regular spices. If you want to make this yourself – knock yourself out.

Ingredients : (source: web)
Dried Red Chillies : 2 Kg.
Coriander Seeds : 500 gm.
Whole Turmeric : 50 gm.
Cumin Seeds : 125 gm.
Mustard Seeds : 50 gm.
White Poppy Seeds : 125 gm.
White Sesame Seeds : 125 gm.
Fennel Seeds : 25 gm.
Black Peppercorns : 125 gm.
Green Cardamoms : 75 gm.
Taj (Ceylon Cinnamon) : 125 gm.
Cloves : 50 gm.
Black Cardamoms : 25 gm.
Nagkesar ( Casia Buds) : 25 gm.
Mace : 25 gm.
Nutmeg : 2 no.
Maipatri (Mugwort) : 25 gm.
Badian / Badalphool (Star Anise) : 25 gm.
Trifal (Sichuan Pepper) : 25 gm.
Tamalpatra (Tejpatta / Indian Bay Leaf ) : 25 gm
Dagadphool ( Lichen) : 25 gm.
Kababchini (Allspice) : 25 gm.
Shahi Jeera (Black Cumin) : 25 gm.
Whole Asafoetida (hing) : 25 gm.
P.S. Dagadphool. This is a dried lichen used in Indian cooking. (Latin: parmelia perlata.)
Method : Saute the masala ingredients individually in little oil to let them release their flavours and then mix them together and grind to a fine powder. Alternately you can also dry roast the ingredients. Take care to crush the asafoetida, turmeric and nutmeg into smaller pieces before sauteing or roasting them.

Or try a simpler method below

2 red onions finely sliced
1 full chicken cut in small pieces
1 – 2 cans (400 ml) coconut milk
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
juice of one lemon
½ cup water
2 tbsps EI Masala + ½ tbsp turmeric + 2 tbsps freshly ground pepper
OR ½ tsp chillipowder+ 1 tsp ground fennel seeds, cloves, green cardamons, +1 tsp turmetic powder + ½ tsp coriander powder + ½ tsp cumin powder + 2 tbsps freshly ground pepper
½ cup finely chopped coriander.

Marinate the chicken(preferably overnight) with the ginger and garlic paste, spices, lemon juice and salt. Fry the onions in some oil. Remove from pan when golden brown and add the chicken pieces. Add more pepper if required. Add 1 or two cans of coconut milk. Two cans will give you more gravy but will be a less intense gravy. Cover and cook for 40 mins to an hour, stirring frequently and adding water as required. Add more salt if required. The chicken should get really soft. Add coriander and serve with rotis or jeera rice.

K-comments – this is such a great curry to make when you have other things to do. Once you put it together, you can just leave it to cook and do other things. This is a favorite in our house. Also, my boss tried this and liked it.


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