Deepthi’s Chicken Curry with Aavakaya (Extremely Hot Cut Mango Pickle)
We’re lucky enough to live next door to Deepthi, and the aromas that we often catch coming from her kitchen are tantalising. To help celebrate National Curry Week 2018, she kindly agreed to tell us more about cooking styles and tastes from her state, Andhra Pradesh in Southern India. Her favourite comfort food meal is:
Malai (cream) paneer curry
1-2 chapathis each
Followed by yogurt rice with a pinch of salt, and Aavakaya, her favourite extremely hot Cut Mango Pickle.
Washed down with water, or if you’re in the mood, a cold beer.
We are very lucky to be able to share with you Deepthi’s family recipes for her chicken curry with jeera rice, and her favourite extremely hot Cut Mango Pickle (Aavakaya) recipe. Try it if you dare, and let us know how you got on! Remember, if it’s too hot, cool it (and yourself) down with a little butter, ghee or yogurt.
Deepthi’s Comfort Food Chicken Curry with Jeera Rice
Serves 2 people
½ kg chicken, preferably not breast, use meat off the bone – thigh is best
1 large onion
2 fresh tomatoes
For the masala (spice blend):
1tbsp ginger/garlic paste (50:50 quantities)
1tsp chili powder
1tsp coriander powder
Pinch of garam masala
¼ tsp turmeric
Level tsp salt
*A handful of cashew nuts – keep some for the rice
1 tbsp coconut paste/creamed coconut
For the jeera rice
Serves 2 people
1 cup of basmati rice
Salt (as needed)
50 grams of butter
2 green chillies
1 tsp cumin
A few cashews, as above
Cut the chicken into chunks of similar sizes to ensure even cooking
In a frying pan, chop the onion and slightly brown in sunflower oil (or olive oil or vegetable oil)
Chop the fresh tomatoes.
Add to the onions, let it soften a bit.
Once the tomatoes and onions are softer, add the masala mix together (including the ginger garlic paste), add a little bit of water to avoid burning into the same pan and stir over a low flame.
*You can add a cashew paste here; in equal quantities to the ginger/garlic paste – soak the cashews, grind to a fine paste until smooth*
Then add the coconut paste/creamed coconut.
Add the raw chicken into the pan and mix it thoroughly.
Put lid on frying pan and cook for about 5 minutes over a medium flame, until you see some water come out of the chicken.
Once the chicken is about halfway cooked, pour in about 100 to 150ml of water. To make the gravy thicker, add less water.
Cook for a further 15-20 minutes till the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
Garnish with coriander leaves at the end and serve.
For the jeera rice
Soak the rice in water and drain the water
In a saucepan, place one cup of rice and two cups of cold water, with a pinch of salt (to avoid rice sticking)
Heat over a medium flame
When the water level begins to drop, reduce to a low flame
To tell when the rice is cooked, put a wooden / stainless steel spoon to the bottom of the pan and feel when the rice is just starting to stick to the bottom.
Transfer the rice to a wide-lipped bowl, let it cool and leave it alone – don’t mess with it!
Heat around 50 grams butter in a small pan
Meanwhile, slice 2 green chillies lengthwise (so that they don’t explode!)
To the butter oil add a few cashews, the chillies and the cumin and heat gently for 2 minutes.
Transfer to the rice, mix and add salt to taste
Remove the chillies
Deepthi was generous enough to cook this for us a few weeks ago before we wrote this blog. I’m not sure how toned down the version we were served was, but it was fragrant and delicious, and we were thrilled. Mr. Otter Vale is looking forward to trying his hand at this soon!
Deepthi’s extremely hot Cut Mango Pickle (Aavakaya) – prepare at least 3 days in advance
1 completely unripe washed, raw mango – seriously, absolutely no trace of ripeness. Deepthi finds them hard to get, although you might be in luck in London or Cardiff.
1.5 tbsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp red chilli powder
15 fenugreek seeds
2 tbsp salt
5 whole, peeled garlic cloves
1 to 2 tbsp sesame seed oil and another 50 ml of sesame seed oil (to add on the 3rd day)
Dry roast the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and make a dry powder of them.
Leaving the skin on, cut the mango into small cubes, discarding the stone
Add the dried powder (of mustard seeds & fenugreek seeds from above), chilli powder, salt and the mango cubes into a GLASS bowl (not plastic, not steel) and mix with 1 to 2 tsp of sesame oil.
You can transfer the above into glass preserve jar and close it with a tight lid (you can use a clean, dried old jam glass bottle)
Leave aside for 3 days
On day 3, heat the remaining 50 ml sesame oil, let it cool and add the garlic cloves
Mix everything together, add salt to taste as needed (to counter the sourness of the mango)
If you can leave it for a few more days at this stage, it will taste even better!
Enjoy with pancakes, rice or dal (boiled lentils with a pinch of salt). Deepthi’s boys enjoy this with crumpets – fusion cuisine!
Image: Sailu’s Food/Picasa