Easter Special Chicken Dish!
Ever since I tasted this special Chicken dish in a small restaurant in Mannagudda in Mangalore back in the late Eighties and early Nineties, I have been trying to find the recipe for this divine starter dish popularised by a culinary expert called Karunakar.
Karunakar left that small restaurant and joined a bigger establishment and continued cooking his wonderful recipes!
Though he was close to me and he used to make dishes according to my liking, he was not educated enough to tell me the ingredients and the recipe!
Eventually, Karunakar faded away into thin air for reasons best known to him and he never returned to Mangalore!
Recently I tasted a similar dish called 'Chicken Varuval' in a local restaurant but it was awful and not exactly the one I expected it to be!
I was feeling helpless and I reminisced over the past where Karunakar would ask us if we want it with bones or boneless.
He even used to ask us if we want that extra 'Khaara'!
I experimented with this one just a few days ago and those who tasted it said –
“It tastes good!"
I was not really happy, for I missed something in that recipe!
Later I realised that onion chops should've been substituted with brown onion paste!
Here I go with this dish, almost like the one I tasted 15 years or more ago like Karunakar made it, which is called 'Chicken Kubera'
This dish is dedicated to that wonderful person Karunakar whom we all used to fondly call 'Karna'
A 'Kubera' himself, rich with his culinary expertise but misfortunate in life!
Wherever Karna may be today, I salute him for his innovations in cooking!
Let me show you how I prepared this dish.
I got the boneless chicken from a nearby chicken stall.
Though Mangalorean chicken stalls are not so adept at making ‘Boneless Chicken', this was my attempt just to avoid all that cleaning cutting and de-boning!
My wife Meena helped me with the ingredients, especially with the brown onion paste, that would've brought little bit of tears in my eyes for nobody that I’d miss!
Prakash Kamath was helpful in taking the pictures with his camera, this time with a halogen lamp and scaled on a chair himself to get the best angle!
Prakash always makes it a point to get the best angle with his Camera!
Ants were trying to eat the flour and sugar, while cockroaches were kept at bay with my ever faithful wife Meena going around with the insecticide spray!
Suddenly I remembered that we've run short of Coriander leaves!
Meena took her umbrella and went out in the hot sun to get that too!
It took me almost 4 hours to prepare the dish and present it in a decent manner.
This is what I have finally prepared and presented to you, my good friends!
It must be good on you palates too for I didn't even find a bit of that chicken that I wanted to taste myself, as I posted this recipe!
"Happy Easter to you all and happy eating too!"
1. Boned/Boneless chicken without skin: 2kg/1 kg, cut into 2" pieces
2. Salt : To taste
3. Lemon Squeezed : 1 Medium
4. Kasoori Methi : 1 Tbsp
5. Red Chilli Powder (Cayenne Pepper) : 1 Tbsp + 1tsp
6. Kashmiri Chilli Powder : 1 Tbsp + 1tsp
7. Ginger Garlic Paste : 1 Tbsp
8. Turmeric Powder : ˝ tsp
9. Coriander Powder : 1 tsp
10. Cumin Powder : 1 tsp
11. Garam Masala Powder : 1 tsp
12. Sugar : 1+1 tsp
13. Caraway Seeds (Oama) : 1/4 tsp
14. Corn Flour : 2 Tbsp
15. Refined Flour (Maida) : 2 Tbsp
16. Brown Onion Paste : 3 Tbsp
(Or 3 Medium Sliced Onions browned with little oil in a shallow pan & ground to a paste)
17. Garlic Chopped : 2 Tbsp
18. Ginger Juliennes : 2 Tbsp
19. Black Pepper Powder : 1 Tbsp
20. Tamarind : 1" ball in 20ml water
21. Tomato Ketchup : 3 Tbsp
22. Coriander Leaves : A Handful Chopped
23. Cashew Bits : 25 gms or more
24. Dry Red Chillies(Long and Short) : A Handful broken
25. Curry Leaves : A Handful
26. Refined Vegetable Oil/Ghee : For Deep & Shallow Frying
1. Combine ingredients 2-13 in a bowl with little water and rub this paste on the chicken pieces. Marinate for 4-12 Hrs in a Fridge.
2. Mix in the Corn Flour and Refined Flour and Deep fry in oil under medium heat till well cooked and crisp. Keep aside.
3. Heat little oil/Ghee in a wok and fry ingredients 23, 24 and 25 till crisp and light brown. Keep aside.
4. Heat some more oil/Ghee in the same wok and fry garlic chops, Onion paste and Ginger juliennes till oil leaves the sides and raw smell disappears. Add Tomato Ketchup and Tamarind Juice along with salt, pepper, 1 tsp Sugar, 1 tsp Red chilli powder and Kashmiri Chilli powder. Test for Salt.
5. Mix in the deep fried Chicken pieces and when the sauce becomes dry, add the fried Cashew bits along with the fried Red Chillies and Curry leaves. Mix well and keep on medium flame for 2 mins. Garnish with Coriander leaves and serve with lemon wedges.
Serves Six with good appetite. Maybe more, if you add extra spice!
Photos Courtesy: Prakash Kamath, Kanthavar