Tuesday, 31 October 2017

South Indian Chicken Stew with Sweet and Sour Rice.



Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

And, with one change of the clocks, the cold weather is back.
We had our first frost here yesterday and there has been a bite in the air ever since.
But even with the clock and weather change, I still refuse to believe it's Winter until December. I'm a real Autumn fan and love to stretch the season out as far as possible. That means baking with apples. I have two packets of filo pastry stashed in the freezer who are just begging to be made into a strudel.
Anyway, onto today's food. This South Indian chicken stew is one of my favourites. It is perfect for the cold weather as it's really well spiced and creamy with lots of coconut milk. I love serving it over sweet and sour rice. The sweet is from sugar and the sour comes from the unmistakable tang of white wine vinegar.
Even the stew gets a hit of vinegar right at the end which for me makes all the difference and really helps cut through the rich coconut milk. This meal is a real cold weather must-cook in our house. It is pretty spicy but you can always, as with all my recipes, adjust the spice levels to taste. I hope this chicken stew and rice make it onto your dinner table this November.
A Simple List of Ingredients:

For the South Indian Chicken Stew:

1. Cinnamon Stick
2. Green Cardamoms
3. Cloves
4. Onions
5. Ginger
6. Garlic
7. Green Chillies
8. Curry Leaves
9. Whole Chicken Pieces
10. Salt
11. Garam Masala

12. Coconut Oil
13. Crushed Black Peppercorns
14. White Wine Vinegar
15. Coconut Milk

For the Sweet Sour Rice:
1. Basmati Rice
2. Vegetable Oil
3. Green Cardamoms
4. Bay Leaves
5. Star Anise
6. Onion
7. Curry Leaves
8. Sugar
9. Salt
10. White Wine Vinegar
11. Coconut Milk
12. Water

Bismillah, let's begin!

For the chicken stew, place a large pan over a medium heat and add in 3 tablespoons Coconut Oil.

Let the oil melt.

ONce the oil is hot, add in 1 small Cinnamon Stick, 4 Green Cardamoms and 6 Cloves. Stir fry the whole spices for 1 minute until they're sizzling and fragrant.

Then, take:
2 Onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small piece Ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
4 Garlic Cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
8 Green Chillies, each with a small slit in the middle and the tops cut off.

8 green chillies do make for a pretty spicy stew so adjust them as you see fit.

Add the onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies to the pan.

Along with 10 Curry Leaves. I don't use fresh curry leaves often so like to keep them in the freezer in an airtight container until needed.

Over a medium heat, stir everything up.

Stir fry for 8-10 minutes until the onions are soft and the whole thing smells incredible.

Next, the chicken. I used 1 Whole Chicken, cut into pieces. The chicken was on the bone and skinless. You can use boneless chicken too but I prefer it with the bone as it gives the stew so much more flavour.

Add the chicken pieces to the pan.

Along with 1 teaspoon Salt. You may add more or less depending on your taste.

And, the second ingredient that will give quite a bit of heat to our stew. Add in 1 tablespoon Black Peppercorns, coarsely crushed or grinded. Again, add more or less depending on your own taste.

Now, stir fry the chicken until it is no longer pink.

Before pouring in 560ml Coconut Milk. For me, this was 1 and 1/2 tins. 

And, 150ml Water.

Stir well and bring to a boil.

Before turning the heat right down and covering with a lid. Let the stew cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the chicken is fully cooked.

Once the stew is done, you may let it bubble a bit to reduce the sauce, if it's too thin.

I like this stew to have a good amount of sauce so pretty much left it as it was. To finish, add in 1 teaspoon Garam Masala.

This will again bring a little more heat to the stew so do add according to your own taste.

Finally, to give the stew a wonderful tang: 5 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar. I love the flavour that the vinegar gives to this stew.

Our stew is done! It is delicious with boiled rice, flatbreads or crusty bread but my favourite way of serving is with this sweet and sour rice. Let's make it!

Take 250g Basmati Rice.

Wash the rice in a few changes of water until the water coming out from the rice runs as clear as you can get it. Then, cover with more water and leave it to soak for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Meanwhile, heat 4 tablespoons Vegetable Oil in a saucepan over a medium heat.

Time to flavour our oil with whole spices. If you're not a fan on whole spices in your rice, just fry them in the oil then scoop them out. That way, you'll still have their flavour without anyone biting down on one.

To the hot oil, add:
4 Green Cardamoms
2 Bay Leaves
2 Star Anise

Let the whole spices fry for a minute then throw in 1 Onion, peeled and thinly sliced.

Along with 10 Curry Leaves. I buy these fresh and keep them in the freezer.

Finally, add in 1 teaspoon Salt and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Sugar. This is where the sweet in sweet and sour rice comes in.

Stir fry until the onions are soft.

Then, the sour element in our sweet and sour rice: white wine vinegar.

Add in 4 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar. The pan will sizzle quite a bit when this goes in so be careful.

Next, coconut milk. I used light but normal will work too.

Pour in 200ml Coconut Milk. For me, this was 1/2 tin.

Finally, 300ml Water.

Stir and let everything start coming to a boil.

Meanwhile, drain and add in your rice.

Stir in and bring to the boil again.

Cover with a lid and let the steam build for 1 minute.

Then, turn the heat right down and let the rice steam for 15-20 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is fully cooked through.

The sweet and sour rice is done!

Give it a gentle fluff up and get ready to serve.

Serve the stew with the rice and enjoy!


Literally one of my favourite Winter warmers. Hope you love it too!

South Indian Chicken Stew with Sweet and Sour Rice.

Prep Time: About 30 minutes.
Cook Time: About 2 hours.
Serves: About 4 people.

Ingredients

For the South Indian Chicken Stew
3 tablespoons Coconut Oil
1 small Cinnamon Stick
4 Green Cardamoms
6 Cloves
2 Onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small piece Ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
4 Garlic Cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
8 Green Chillies, each with a small slit in the middle and tops cut off
10 Curry Leaves
1 Whole Chicken, cut into pieces (skinless but on the bone)
Salt, to taste (I added 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon Black Peppercorns, coarsely crushed or grinded
560ml Coconut Milk (For me, 1 and 1/2 tins)
150ml Water
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
5 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar

For the Sweet and Sour Rice
250g Basmati Rice, washed and soaked for at least 30 minutes
4 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
4 Green Cardamoms
2 Bay Leaves
2 Star Anise
1 Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
10 Curry Leaves
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Sugar
Salt, to taste (I added 1 teaspoon)
4 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
200ml Coconut Milk (For me, 1/2 tin)
300ml Water

To cook the South Indian chicken stew:
Heat the coconut oil in a large pan or pot over a medium heat. Once it's hot and melted, add in the cinnamon stick, green cardamoms and cloves. Fry for 1 minute then add in the onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves. Stir fry for 8-10 minutes over a medium heat until the onions are soft.

Add in the chicken pieces, salt and crushed black peppercorns. Stir fry until the chicken is no longer pink. Pour in the coconut milk and water. Stir and bring everything to a boil over a high heat. Then, turn the heat to the lowest and cover with a lid. Cook the stew for 45 minutes and up to 1 hour until the chicken is fully cooked through.

If the sauce is too thin for your liking, turn the heat up and let it bubble away uncovered until you're happy. Finish by stirring in the garam masala and white wine vinegar. Serve with sweet and sour rice.

To cook the sweet and sour rice:
Wash the rice in a few changes of cold water until the water runs as clear as you can get it. Soak the rice in more water for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Heat the vegetable oil over a medium heat in a deep saucepan. Once hot, add in the star anise, green cardamoms and bay leaves. Fry for a minute then add in the onion, curry leaves, sugar and salt. Stir fry until the onion is soft.

Add in the vinegar and coconut milk. Stir in and let it start coming to the boil. Drain and add in the rice. Stir in and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover with a tight lid and let the steam build for 1 minute. Turn the heat down and let the rice steam for 15-20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fully cooked through.

Serve:
Serve the chicken stew with the rice. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • The spices mentioned for the stew result in a very well spiced dish. If you prefer things a little milder, reduce the green chillies and crushed black peppercorns to your own taste.
  • The stew has more sauce than any curry I'm used to. I like it this way but you can always let yours bubble uncovered until you're happy. Be warned though, the more you reduce it, the stronger the end flavour.
{adapted from bbc food}

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your chicken stew!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!


Spice Enthusiast

6 comments

  1. It looks delicious!!
    We also have similar recipe but it is one pot dish.
    We cook the rice in the stew like pulao.It tastes great.
    Maryam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Maryam. Love the sound of your one-pot idea. :)

      Delete
  2. This stew is quite famous in Kerala... but made with a little difference... we only use ginger, no garlic, with loads of fresh peppercorns for bite and most of the time, the chicken is cooked some potatoes and carrots too... Like your version... the rice also sounds interesting...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad to hear that my version is similar to yours. Would love to add vegetables to mine next time. Thank you!

      Delete
  3. I can't tell in words how much do i love coconut oil and coconut milk and a recipe where i can have these both together wow thankyou so much

    ReplyDelete

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