This is a Sunday favorite at my in-laws’ place. We usually make this for Sunday breakfast for idlis and dosas. Though the color of this dish may appear bland, it is super spicy and for me the best combination is with crispy dosas. This can also be made as a vegetarian dish by substituting the chicken with veggies. I have followed my mother-in-law’s recipe here, the only change I made from hers is that I reduced the coconut and replaced it with some nuts. This gives the kurma the same creaminess and taste without all the extra saturated fat. The chicken used here is skinless white meat chicken, so presenting a low-calorie version of my family favorite vellai kurma.
- Chicken, around 1 pound.
- Onion, medium-sized, 2.
- Tomato, 1.
- Ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon.
- Green chilies, 2-3 or more, depending upon preferred spice level.
- Grated coconut or dry coconut powder, 1 tablespoon.
- Cashews or almonds, 2 tablespoons.
- Fennel seeds, ½ teaspoon.
- Garam masala, 1 teaspoon. (optional).
- Salt, as per taste.
- Curry leaves and cilantro for seasoning.
Grind the coconut and the nuts into a smooth paste with some water. Clean the chicken and cut it into bite-size pieces. Dice the onion and tomato finely and the green chilies into two. Heat a pan with some oil. When the oil is hot enough, add the fennel seeds and fry for a few seconds. Then add the diced onion and curry leaves and sauté for few minutes. When the onions turn translucent, add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a minute until everything is well blended. Add the diced tomatoes, ground paste, chicken, and salt along with 3 cups of water and cook for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked and tender and the desired consistency is reached. At this stage the contents can also be transferred to a pressure cooker and cooked for 2-3 whistles. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with idlis, dosas, rice, or chapathis.