Saturday, 25 August 2012

Kenyan Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce

Kenyan Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce

This dish talks about history. It talks about the long trading relations India shared with Coastal African countries, over the centuries. Though this dish is from an East African country, Kenya, the Indian influences are so pronounced that it feels like two countries are united. My sister who was settled in Kenya for years first told me about this dish. Then she even prepared it for me and I was amazed. This curry is so similar to the typical Chicken curry from South India. So here it is friends, Kuku Paka
for your Indian Kitchen.

Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time      : 45 minutes to 1 hour
Difficulty              :  Easy
Serves                  :  4 - 6

Ingredients :

  • 1 1/2 kilos Chicken, cut into pieces 
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 or 3 Hot chili peppers, chopped (you can increase or decrease the number of chilies depending how hot you like your dish to be.) 
  • 2 tablespoons Ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Oil or ghee (I prefer to use simple Vegetable oil)
  • 1 tablespoon Curry powder (use any curry powder available in the market)
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin seeds
  • 2 cups Chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 2 cups Coconut milk
  • Salt to taste 
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro/Coriander leaves, chopped


    Method :

    1) Add the onion, chilies, ginger and garlic to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add a little water if necessary.
    2) Heat the oil or ghee in a large pot or wok over medium flame. Add the onion puree, curry powder and cumin and saute, stirring frequently, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until cooked down. Sprinkle some water in between to stop the spices from burning or sticking to the bottom.
    3) You will know the spices are done when they start to leave oil from sides. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
    4) Then add the chicken, coconut milk, salt and pepper. Mix well.
    5) Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through and tender, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Add more water as needed.
    6) Stir in the cilantro, mix well.
    7) Check seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as per requirement.
    8) Serve hot with with rice or chapatti.

    Kuku Paka VariationsFor authentic flavor, grill the chicken pieces before stirring them into the simmering sauce. If you like, you can also use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs.

    Some recipes I found in different websites, use potatoes. In that case, add potatoes to the curry. The potatoes can be cooked ahead, cut into chunks and stirred into the curry toward the end.

    Eliminate the hot chilies for a milder dish. Or substitute a chopped sweet bell pepper or you can deseed the chilies and use them.

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