Maximum Chicken NV...curry meets curd


I had recently written about a dish which I cooked and had named 'Maximum Chicken'. This was named after Suketu Mehta's grpahic book on Mumbai, 'Maximum City'. I had used ingredients common to local cuisine in Mumbai - whole mustard seeds, curry leaves, East Indian Masala AND coconut milk - hence the name.



A reader wrote in asking whether one could make it without coconut milk as she didn't like the taste of coconut too much. I guess there would be many such people as coconut has a fairly distinctive taste. I, in turn, don't like coconut based sweets. Plus coconut milk in excess is linked with weight gain and high cholesterol.


I gave this riddle some thought and soon came up with a solution which works quite well.


I took out coconut milk, the favoured curry base of the Western and Southern coast of India, and substituted it with beaten curd/ yogurt. Curd is the favoured curry base of North India! Hence 'NV" or 'Northern Version'. I have tried this twice so far and it has been quite a success. And the good thing is that curd is a lighter and healthier base than coconut milk to start with. The dish dips into the cooking traditions of different parts of India - curry leaves, East Indian Masala and mustard seeds from the coast and curd from the North

I made this dish in a pressure pan and not in a sauce pan unlike the coconut milk version but I guess both would work.

Here's a quick summary of this fairly easy dish:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tea spoon cooking oil
  • 1 tea spoon mustard seeds
  • 3 tea spoons of chopped curry leaves
  • 0.5 a chopped onion/ shallot
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 2 tea spoons East India Masala
  • 1 tea spoon sugar
  • 1 tea spoon salt
  • 1 tea spoon ketchup
  • 100 g whisked curd (I use Nesvita, probiotic curd)
  • 1/2 a tea cup of water (avoidable if using a sauce pan)
  • 6 chicken drum sticks, slashed for the masala to come in/ 600-700 g chicken

Recipe

Stage 1

  • Heat the oil in a pressure pan
  • Add the whole mustard seeds till they crackle
  • Add the onion and stir it with a ladle till the onion becomes translucent and reddish
  • Add the tomato and stir till the tomato becomes a bit soft
  • Add the chicken + East Indian masala + sugar + salt + ketchup
  • Stir till the chicken skin crinkles
  • Add the curd and the water

Stage 2

  • Close the pressure pan and put the flame of the gas on high
  • Wait for the pan to give 4 whistles
  • Reduce the flame to simmer and let it cook for ten minutes

Stage 3

  • Switch off the gas and open the pressure cooker after it cools down
  • Put it on a high flame without the lid till the sauce begins to boil (bubble) and let it dry till it becomes a thickish paste

This is best had with roti or paratha. I had it with steamed rice too. It went well but just remember that there is not too much gravy in this dish.

The dish would take about 25 minutes to prepare with about fifteen minutes of active involvement.

2