I have said it before and I’ll say it again-I love the vastness and diversity that Indian cookery has to offer! I’m constantly learning about new regional dishes which continue to broaden my culinary perspective on Indian cuisine. I feel so lucky to have lots of family who reside in India and I visit them as often as I can-and as much as I love catching up and staying with my loved ones (how can I not love staying with my Grandma won’t stop feeding me until I look “healthy”?), I always endeavour to do as much exploring and traveling as I can in my motherland. Recently I got the opportunity to visit Go-a wonderful, former Portuguese province, that fuses Eastern & Western culture into one state. A popular tourist destination, Goa is well known for its beaches, markets, history, spice plantations and most importantly its food! Today’s recipe is inspired by this spicy, fresh and flavoursome cuisine and features ingredients typically found in Goan dishes such as chilli, tamarind & fresh coconut. It’s oven baked which adds a lovely depth and richness to the dish making it perfect to be mopped up with hot fresh chappatis and a cold winter’s evening!
What we need:
1/2 kg boneless skinned chicken thighs cut into 2″ cubes
4 tbsp plain yoghurt
Juice from 1/2 lemon
4 tsp salt
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
4 small potatoes, peeled and cut into 8 pieces (optional)
1″ cinnamon stick
1 black cardamom
1 green cardamom
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, peeled & roughly chopped
1 green chilli
4″ ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup fresh coconut grated or 1/4 tin coconut milk
1 tsp tamarind paste (optional)
2 plum tomatoes and 3 tbsp tomato juice (from tin)
1 handful fresh coriander
- Place chicken in a bowl and add 2 tbsp yoghurt, lemon juice, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp garam masala and 1 tsp paprika. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Pre-heat oven at 220C (or the highest temperature your oven goes to). In the mean time, place the chicken and the potatoes in a deep roasting tray.
- Once the oven is hot, cook for approximately 15 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over and cook for a remaining 10-12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and white all the way through. Remove the chicken but keep the oven on.
- In a food processor add the onions, green chilli, ginger and garlic and blitz until a coarse paste forms.
- Heat the oil in a non stick pan. Once hot, add the cinnamon stick, black cardamom, green cardamom, cloves, cumin seeds & bay leaves. When they begin to splatter in the oil, add the coarse masala paste into the pan alongside 2 tsp salt and cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes. When the masala turns slightly golden in colour, add the coconut and continue to cook for 5-7 minutes. Now add 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp paprika and the turmeric. Mix well for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the tamarind paste and plum tomatoes & mash well. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes or until you see the oil begin to separate from the masala. Now add the coriander. Check for salt and adjust accordingly.
- Add the masala to the roasting tray containing the chicken and mix. Cover with foil.
- Place in the tray back into the oven and cook for 12 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh grated coconut & coriander. Serve with fresh chappatis or basmati rice.
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