This is definitely a small world. A world brought together by social media and connecting people and their interests. Today’s post is a guest post by a very talented and humble cook. She’s hard working lady who is very passionate about cooking. Her blog will get you interested with her simplicity that is reflected in her writing. She is an avid sky watcher. She is keen enough to notice the shapes and patterns that the blue sky clouds forms. Loves to have a treasure of books.
I requested her for a recipe that is core to the Malabar region. And she granted my wish and wow what a recipe. I hope you will love to try out this recipe for Christmas.
Introducing Rafeeda from “The Big Sweet Tooth“. Do visit her lovely blog as it is a bouquet of every cuisine.Over to Rafeeda.
Hello to all the wonderful readers of Yeleena’s space…
It is my pleasure to be doing a guest post for Yeleena. First of all, I apologize for being very late with my post since I got stuck up with a lot of matters and was not able to give my full concentration of the guest post. Even now, if I am being sincere, I am not 100% happy with the post, but knowing that for the next three months, I won’t be able to do anything due to personal commitments, I decided it was now or never.
My name is Rafeeda, and I blog at “The Big Sweet Tooth”. Just like Yeleena, I am also a working woman, with two beautiful daughters and my life is all about making quick, easy and delicious meals that get ready in no time. Just like my blog name, I have a penchant for desserts and love them at any point of time. But for Yeleena, I am not coming up with anything sweet, as I have done with almost all my guest posts!
When Yeleena contacted me for a guest post, I asked her if she had anything specific in mind and she said she wanted something that was savory and non-vegetarian. That got me thinking. At the time she had asked for the guest post, I was on a vegetarian diet, so I had to wait till I was able to transit to a non-vegetarian diet to cook up something interesting. Savory is really not my forte, though if you notice my blog, I have quite a bit of curries and all of them are less complicated, and to the point. That is when I was reminded that I had this recipe that I have been wanting to make and this was the perfect opportunity.
KozhiNirachathu is a quintessential Malabar delicacy – to specifically say that they belong to the Thalassery-Kannur side of Malabar. Basically, a whole chicken is marinated in spices, filled with an onion masala and a couple of boiled eggs, depending on how much the cavity of the chicken can take, and then steamed and deep fried, or vice versa whichever seems convenient. I had the first taste of this dish when I had just got married and was staying at HD’s place. I really admire how the women in his place can cook up a storm in a very limited time frame. For them, immediate guests are not a problem. They can cook up on an average six different tea time snacks within 15-20 minutes! I am yet to learn that technique of it from them. J Once we completed our stay and were getting ready to travel back to Dubai, the whole entourage of my in-law’s relatives flooded the house and got cooking delicacies for us to carry with us for our relatives here. One among them was this full chicken so delicately wrapped up in banana leaves, and then wrapped with lots of newspaper so that nothing of the chicken fat oozes out. Once we landed home, and we opened up the wrap, the smell that emaciated the house was intoxicated, even though the dish was already cold! All I did was to transfer the chicken and the masala to a place, microwaved till hot and then the men wiped it off clean with the tyrepathiris (thick rice pancakes) that were packed with it.
From then on, I have been dreaming about making this dish, but the lengthy process would always put me off. Yeleena’s email was actually a wake-up call for me to be trying this really soon, and yes, I did! When we had a long weekend recently, this was our Friday lunch. I was so drained that I had no energy to cook rice elegantly, so settled up with simple steamed rice and some raita to go along side. It was literally wiped off by HD and the girls, and as usual, only the breast portion of the chicken remained. If you have time on hand and love whole chicken roasts, then this is highly recommended. The recipe may seem long and tedious but if you manage your time, you can pull it off with ease.
I have included a step by step process, just to give an idea. I have first deep fried the chicken till brown, then wrapped up the chicken with the remaining masala nicely in banana leaf and steamed it for around 15-20 minutes to ensure that the chicken is cooked well inside. You could even steam the chicken and then fry it, but I feared it may not lock the juiciness of the chicken and a lot of stock will be lost in the process, so decided to do it vice-versa. I am really not sure if my clicks show the awesomeness of the dish, since I had three hungry tummies behind me and I was finding it difficult to concentrate, since my tummy was growling as well! 😉 Off to this delicious recipe…
KozhiNirachathu – Malabar Stuffed and Fried Whole Chicken Roast
For the chicken:
1 kg whole chicken
3 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
¾ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp fennel powder
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp garam masala powder
½ tsp black pepper powder
Salt to taste
Juice of one lime
For the masala:
2 hardboiled eggs
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 sprig curry leaves
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 green chillies, minced
4 cloves garlic, pounded
1 inch pc ginger, pounded
1 heaped tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp fennel powder
2 tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for deep frying
1 sprig curry leaves (optional)
1 or 2 banana leaves
Remove the skin of the chicken and the excess fats and wash it well. Pat dry using a kitchen towel till it is dry. Make stashes across the chicken – on the breasts, thigh, leg portions. Keep in a draining bowl till the masala is done.
In a large bowl, big enough to hold the chicken, combine ingredients from red chilli powder to lime juice and mix to make a thick paste. Do not add water to it. Put the chicken in, and pat the masala all over the chicken, including the cavities till well coated. Set aside to marinate till the masala is being done.
In a saucepan, heat oil. Briefly fry the curry leaves. Add the onions and green chillies and saute till the onion is wilted. Add the crushed ginger and garlic and saute till raw smell is gone, around 3 minutes. Add in the powders and saute for another couple of minutes or till a nice aroma comes. Tip in the tomatoes and give a good stir. Cook on low flame and closed lid, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking to the pan, till the tomatoes are all mashed up. Switch off the flame and allow it to cool slightly.
Take the chicken, insert the boiled eggs into its cavity (keep only 1, if the cavity is small. Fill with the onion masala till tight – do not overfill or else the chicken may tear up while frying. Tie up the legs using a kitchen twine and also tie across the center and the wings portions, just to hold the chicken in shape.
Heat sufficient coconut oil to fry the chicken. Once the oil is hot, add in the curry leaves, if using. Carefully, put the chicken into the oil and allow it to turn brown. Flip four sides till all the sides have a uniform color.
While the chicken is frying, wash the banana leaves well. Run both the sides on top of flame to partially cook it. This will make the banana leaves flexible and easy to fold, without tearing. Set them in a plus shape on your counter. Spread ¾ of the remaining masala in the center portion of the leaves.
Slowly drain the chicken off from oil and keep on top of the masala. Top with the remaining masala. Wrap the chicken well closing all sides, and tie up with kitchen twine. You may use toothpick to keep the leaves in its place like I did.
Heat a large saucepan. Sprinkle a little of the oil used to fry the chicken. Put in the chicken parcel into it. Close the lid tight and cook on high for five minutes. Lower the flame to the minimum and cook for another 15 minutes. Switch off.
Serve hot with rice, or even better with porottas or chapathis.
- The curry and the chicken is mildly spiced. Up the green chilli/ red chilli/ pepper to your taste.
- You can steam the chicken alone without the extra masala, and serve the masala separately.
- In case banana leaves are not available, you can use aluminum foil to cover the chicken and steam accordingly.
I hope you all enjoyed the recipe. Thank you Yeleena for inviting me and I sincerely hope I have done justice to your expectation.
Thanks a ton Rafeeda. This recipe is a treasure in itself. A definite dish to be tried this Christmas.