Roasted coconut, roasted coriander, and roasted chilies are the triad that give this Mangalorean-inspired chicken its delicious smoky flavour. Simple and easy, this tropical dish is great for an Indian -themed brunch or dinner.
- 3 chicken breast halves (250g), cut into 1.5” cubes
- salt – ¾ teaspoon or to taste
- ⅓ cup coconut, freshly grated
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, whole
- ½ teaspoon cumin, whole Click here to buy aromatic whole cumin seeds
- 2 Kashmiri chilies, whole (or 2 teaspoons paprika) Click here to buy organically cultivated chilies
- 8-12 black peppercorns, whole Click here to buy our favourite black peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon turmeric Click here to buy our favourite turmeric
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons water, plus ¼ th cup
- ¼ cup coconut milk, freshly made or packaged Click here to buy a nice creamy coconut milk
- a squeeze of lime (about 1 teaspoon)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil Click here to buy cold-pressed virgin coconut oil
- Heat a pan on medium heat. Dry roast coconut until light brown, about 2 minutes.
- Remove the coconut and dry roast coriander seeds, cumin, and red chilies until spices are light brown and give off a roasted smell.
- Combine coconut, roasted spices, chilies, black peppercorns, turmeric, and garlic with water in a food processor or wet grinder. Grind to paste.
- Marinate chicken with salt – rub it in well. Then apply coconut paste to the chicken and allow it to marinate while prepping other ingredients.
- Heat oil in a wok or frying pan on medium heat. Once heated, add onions, fry for 2-3 minutes until the onions turn translucent.
- Add chicken and the ground masala to the pan. Fry chicken uncovered, for 10-12 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
- Add coconut milk and 1/4th cup remaining water. Mix well, so the spice mixture is blended into coconut milk.
- Lower heat to simmer. Simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. Adjust salt and seasonings.
- Serve hot with rice, chapatti, or kori rotti.
Coconut, fresh or desiccated, is critical for this dish. If you lack whole spices, go ahead and roast coconut and chilies and add powdered or ground spice to the paste. Kashmiri chilies give color and flavour, but if you don’t have them, feel free to add 2 teaspoons of paprika to the paste. The same goes for pepper. If you do want to go with one whole spice make it coriander, as it adds nuttiness to the flavour and is just much better whole. I have bypassed tamarind, which makes the recipe more authentic, but is just an unnecessary extra pantry ingredient for a student or novice cook. If you do have tamarind, add a teaspoon of paste instead of lime juice! And have fresh coconut milk? Skip the additional water and go with fresh!