- Submitted by Dahlia
(Dry Curry Leaf Chicken, Chicken Curry Leaves Fry, Kadipatta Murg, Karuveppilai Kozhi Curry, Karuvepaku Kodi Vepudu)
Chicken cooked with curry leaves masala is a very tasty preparation from Andhra Pradesh. Variations are also made in parts of Tamil Nadu. If you ask me to pick my favorite chicken dish, this would be one of them. I love many chicken dishes but this would come under the top 10. It is made in both gravy form as well as semi dry form. I often make the dry version with some rice or pulao.
Curry leaves are available in abundance in South India. Whenever we go to the vegetable shop, the vendor adds a handful of curry leaf stalks to our purchase free of cost. In towns and villages, almost all houses have a curry leaf tree in their backyard. During my stay in the US, I had to use this herb very sparingly due to its high cost. Every time I came to India for vacation, I used to carry a pack of sun-dried or fried curry leaves. It was good when added to curries.
Curry leaves are added to all South Indian dishes while seasoning. Normally when eating, most of us pick them and keep them aside. If you know the amount of nutrients packed in these leaves, you will probably never throw it. These leaves are a rich source of iron and folic acid. It is full of vitamins, especially vitamin A which is good for eyesight. Curry leaves protects the liver from damage, fights diabetes and cancer, lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart diseases. Curry leaves are also known to aid digestion and prevent early graying of hair.
There are also quite a few recipes where the curry leaf is the star ingredient like the curry leaf rice, curry leaf chutney, curry leaf kuzhambu etc. Today's recipe is one such item where curry leaves play a key role. This dish is the easiest form for consuming curry leaves. The leaves are roasted, powdered and cooked with the chicken making it a very tasty preparation.
Recipe for Curry Leaves Chicken
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
- Chicken - 1/2 kg (about 1 lb)
- Shallots (Sambar Onions) - 15 (or 2 big onions)
- Garlic - 6-8 cloves
- Ginger - 1" piece
- Green chilies - 3
- Coriander Powder - 1 tbsp
- Coriander Leaves - 2-3 stalks
- Oil - 2 tbsp
For Roasting and Grinding
- Curry Leaves - 1 cup
- Fennel seeds - 2 tsp
- Black Peppercorns - 1 tbsp
- Cinnamon stick - 2" stick
- Cardamom - 2
- Cloves - 3
- Star anise - 1/2
- Dry red chilies - 2
- Curd - 3 tbsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
- Marinate the chicken with curd, turmeric powder and salt for 10-15 minutes.
- Dry roast the curry leaves, whole peppercorns, dry red chilies, fennel seeds and the whole garam masala over low flame for few minutes. The curry leaves will turn crispy and the other spices will also be roasted.
- Cool it a bit and coarsely powder it using a dry grinder / mixie.
- Chop half of the onions finely. Take the remaining onions, ginger, garlic, green chilies and coriander leaves in the mixie and crush it.
- Now heat oil in a kadai or pan. Add the chopped onions and fry until golden brown.
- Add the crushed ingredients and saute for couple of minutes.
- Add the marinated chicken along with the powdered masala and coriander powder.
- Cover and cook for 7 minutes. Do not add water.
- Once the chicken is cooked, open the lid and continue cooking on medium low flame till the masala becomes dry. After another 5-7 minutes, it will also get a deep dark color. Switch off and enjoy.
Detailed Steps for Curry Leaves Chicken
Wash the chicken and cut into small bite size pieces. Marinate it with curd, turmeric powder and salt. Let it rest while you get the other things done. I usually just marinate for 15 minutes which is sufficient for the spices to seep in.
Heat a pan and dry roast the curry leaves, whole peppercorns, dry red chilies, fennel seeds and the whole garam masala. Do it on a low flame to prevent the ingredients from getting burnt. The curry leaves will turn crispy and will get crushed when pressed between fingers. Switch off at this stage.
Cool it a bit and transfer the contents to a mixie jar or coffee grinder. Powder it coarsely and keep it ready.
Note : I have made this as a dry dish so this powder is perfect. If you want to make curry leaves chicken gravy, take 2 tbsp of cashew nuts and 4 tbsp of grated coconut along with the ingredients. Add some water and make a smooth paste. Also add an additional 1 cup of water along with the chicken and the masala while cooking it.
Peel the onions, garlic and ginger. Chop half of the onions finely. All the remaining ingredients can be chopped finely or crushed coarsely.
Take the remaining onions, roughly chopped ginger, garlic cloves, green chilies and coriander leaves in the mixie. Pulse them a few seconds to roughly crush them. This saves a lot of time than chopping.
Now heat oil in a wide kadai or pan. I prefer to use coconut oil or sesame oil which gives the best flavor. Any refined oil can also be used. Add the chopped onions and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add the crushed ingredients and fry everything together for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the marinated chicken along with the remaining marinate. Also add the powdered masala and the coriander powder. Mix well, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes. No additional water is needed. The chicken will get cooked in its own juices.
Keep the lid open and continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes.
You will see the masala getting a dark color and sticking to the chicken pieces. Switch off at this stage and serve.
Serving Curry Leaves Chicken
- Curry leaves chicken can be served with white rice and rasam.
- It also makes a great side dish for chapati, pulao or biryani.
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