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.
- * 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
- 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.)
- 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.
- Add in the sliced onions, and saute till translucent.
- Add in the ginger, garlic paste and green chillies. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- 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.
- Serve with appams or steamed white rice.
Indian Chicken Stew…It’s What’s for Dinner.