Kerala Masala Chicken Fry
By Suja Manoj
For robust spice flavour, give the chicken a rigorous massage while rubbing ground spices into it. Fry the marinated pieces to a light crisp and serve with a minty yogurt chutney.
Total Time: 45 minutes
Cost: < S$10
Servings: 4-5 persons
A: To Marinate Chicken
1 chicken, about 1.2 kg, cut into small pieces
1½ tablespoons ginger paste or minced ginger
1½ tablespoons garlic paste or minced garlic 2 tablespoons chilli powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
3 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1½ tablespoons store-bought ground garam masala (Indian 5-spices)
2 tablespoons fennel seeds, crushed
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon salt
B: For Frying Chicken
2 sprigs curry leaves, stalks removed, leaves washed and dried
C: Pudina chutney (mint chutney)
One cup mint – leaves only
Half cup coriander – leaves only
1 clove garlic, peeled
Thumb-sized ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 green chillies, seeded and roughly chopped
½ lemon – juice only
5 tablespoons Indian curd or Greek-style yogurt
Ground cumin, a pinch
2 small onions, peeled and sliced into thick rings
1. In a large mixing bowl, rub A ingredients (spices, cornflour and salt) into the chicken and give it a good massage. Salt is a critical ingredient in the spice rub. Allow chicken to marinate for at least one hour in the fridge.
2. To make the pudina chutney, blend all C ingredients (herbs, garlic, ginger, chillies, lemon juice and curd) in a food processor to a fine texture. Pour into a mason jar and refrigerate until serving time.
3. Heat up the oil in a wok or deep saucepan over high heat. Deep fry the chicken in batches. During the last one minute of frying each batch of chicken, toss in a few curry leaves.
4. Cook until chicken turns golden brown and curry leaves are crisp. Drain on kitchen towels.
5. Serve with onion rings and the chutney.
TIP: Do not overcrowd the saucepan when frying the chicken or it will not crisp up well.
TECHNIQUE: Massaging the bird helps to relax its muscles, making it tender. This allows the warm earthy flavours of the spices to penetrate the meat. The result is a seductively fragrant fried chicken dish.
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