SRC Reveal Day, Indian Chicken Stew

Boy, this was a tough assignment for me. Normally when browsing my assigned blog for The Secret Recipe Club, my problem would be the hard task of deciding on just one recipe to prepare. This month, while scrolling through The Novice Housewife’s site, I was truly afraid I didn’t have the culinary ability to prepare some of her beautiful Indian recipes. I have to admit my fearless kitchen attitude had suddenly turned into a fraidy cat. Even with two Madhur Jaffray cookbooks in my possession, I just don’t prepare Indian food.

Oh I suppose I could have taken the easy way out and chosen the Tater Tot Casserole, but, decided not to let the tikkas, the masalas, or the samosas intimidate me. I mean after all, I have an Indian market nearby which surely had everything I needed. I really, really, really wanted to make her Chicken Tikka Pizza, but let an ingredient called kasoori methi scared me away. So chose something with ingredients that sounded a bit more familiar, Chicken Stew With Appams.  A simple chicken stew simmered in whole spices and coconut milk. Appams is a fermented rice product which Shumaila indicated I could find in the freezer section of my local Indian market.  I forgot to ask for it, so served this stew over steamed rice.

The Indian market indeed had every single ingredient I was lacking: star anise, green cardamon pods and curry leaves. The soup is cooked in a wok and the whole thing came together in less than thirty minutes. Shumaila had stressed the beauty of cooking with whole spices and when I dropped the star anise, the whole cardamon pods, curry leaves and mustard seeds into the hot oil, I was smelling some of the most fragrant food this Western kitchen has wafted. The curry leaves have brought my love for curry to a whole new level. It added a pungent and earthy flavor to the finished soup, nothing like I’ve ever tasted before.

Now that my pantry has a supply of beautiful Indian spices, I’ll definitely be making this again. AND, you can bet I’ll be making a return trip to that market to ask for kasoori methi. I really want to try that pizza.  Thank you for a fabulous stew recipe Shumaila.

5.0 from 5 reviews
Chicken Stew with Appams
  • * ½ large onion or 1 medium onion, sliced
  • * ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • * 1 tsp ginger paste
  • * 1 tsp garlic paste
  • * 2 tbsp oil
  • * 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • * 8-10 curry leaves/kadi pata
  • * 10-12 black peppercorns (whole)
  • * 1-2 star anise
  • * 2 green cardamom
  • * 5-6 green chillies, sliced
  • * 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • * 1½ cups chicken stock
  • * 1 can coconut milk
  • * salt, to taste
  1. In a wok/ large saucepan, heat the oil on medium high heat. The oil should be hot (but not too hot before you put the whole spices in. Test with 1-2 mustard seeds- if they sizzle, its hot. If they start burning in just a few seconds, the oil is too hot.)
  2. Add in the whole spices- cinnamon, curry leaves, whole peppercorn, star anise, cardamom, mustard seeds. Let sizzle for a few seconds till the oil is flavorful.
  3. Add in the sliced onions, and saute till translucent.
  4. Add in the ginger, garlic paste and green chillies. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Mix in the chicken pieces and turn the flame to high. Cook till the pinkness has gone and the chicken is brown. As soon as this happens, add in the coconut milk and stock. Switch flame to medium. Cook till chicken is cooked all through.
  6. Serve with appams or steamed white rice.

Indian Chicken Stew…It’s What’s for Dinner.

On this day..

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  1. says

    WOWwowWOW! I am just sick that there is no Indian markets up here. :-/ I am going to have to Google some up here. Your description of the heady fragrance made my mouth water. It’s one of the best things about cooking – those delicious smells. And I love that photo – just perfect with the dish!

    • Lea Ann says

      No Whole Foods? No Indian Market? :/ That’s one nice thing about living in the rat race big city. The luxury of convenience. However, sometimes I wished I lived in the middle of a wheat field in Kansas, I’d just mail order the crap out of everything. 😉

  2. says

    You go girl – be fearless – it’s just a meal after all and a short drive for fast food in event of a total failure. The soup looks delicious, and I wish I’d been there to try yours – not exactly my flavors you know. I need to go visit an Indian restaurant more than once every 10 years or so.

    • Lea Ann says

      That’s right Larry, it’s just a meal. And you know I wish you would have been here to taste test it. I think you would have liked this. It’s not a curry like you think of curries … so subtle and delicious. And I think the last time I was at an Indian restaurant was about 10 years ago. :)

    • Lea Ann says

      Susan, I’m going to try that pizza. I need to get more familiar with Indian food. Next thing you know I’ll be making samosas. :)

  3. says

    I also have never been brave enough to try making Indian food, but I do love to dine on it at a restaurant! I’d love to explore the Indian market near you someday. Lea Ann, as I love trying out new spices and flavors

  4. Lynne says

    Fabulous stew! How lucky you are to live near an Indian market! My family loves curries, so I know this recipe would be a big hit!

  5. says

    This looks wonderful Lea Ann. I love my Madhur Jaffrey cookbooks and prepare Indian everytime I get a craving, but I have to admit I cook the same 3 recipes in rotation. I think I may have to add this one to my list.

  6. says

    I would absolutely love this! My son would hate it. Alexis would be the “swing state”, lol. I don’t know why I am the only one in my family that really likes Indian, curries, etc.

  7. says

    Lea Ann, so jealous the aromoa from your home! Amazing~~ between this stew, the mushroom bread appetizer, butterfinger cake, stuffed chicken breasts and potato soup I have a week’s worth of amazing recipes!! You are rocking the blog girl! Each blog post more tasty than the next!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Lea Ann says

      I agree, I was daring and stepped outside my meat and potatoes comfort zone. And so glad I did. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  8. says

    1. You do not need the Kasuri methi to make the chicken tikka pizza. It is a nice addition, but you can skip it. The flavors are not compromised, just different. But if you were making something like Methi chicken or anything that had the methi as a star ingredient, then you can not skip it.

    Bottom line? Never be scared of the ingredients, My friend.

    2. I LOVE a good chicken stew and Love the fact that yours looks perfect. And now that you are in love with curry leaves, we should meet soon

    Keep going Fearless Lea Ann!

  9. says

    As much as I love Indian food I just never make it at home. I need to do what you did, Lea Ann, and just plunge in and start experimenting. Once a person has a good collection of the spices is gets easier. Great recipe choice for the SRC.


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