I am vegetarian but have been only for about 20 years. Before that, I was someone who loved chicken and bacon! I loved it so much that a friend took a bet with me that I couldn’t be vegetarian for 3 months – I did it and found it so easy that I just stayed vegetarian – and have no regrets.
I do, though, frequently make chicken or fish for my husband and daughter, who are consummate non-vegetarians! This is one that is (I hear!) finger-looking good.
Chettinad is a region of Tamil Nadu that was populated by the Chettiars, who are a prosperous banking and business community. Chettinad cuisine is typically spicy. Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia that summarizes it well:
Chettinad cuisine is famous for its use of a variety of spices used in preparing mainly non-vegetarian food. The dishes are hot and pungent with fresh ground masalas, and topped with a boiled egg that is usually considered an essential part of a meal. They also use a variety of sun dried meats and salted vegetables, reflecting the dry environment of the region. The meat is restricted to fish, prawn, lobster, crab, chicken and mutton. Chettiars do not eat beef and pork.
Chettinad Chicken Curry
1 tbsp plain yogurt
3 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp salt
Grind together A and B:
A. Saute in oil till brown – 10 shallots and 3 cloves garlic
B. Saute separately without oil till brown:
1 tsp cinnamon
2 pieces of cardamom
1 tsp nutmeg powder
1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
1 tsp fenugreek
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp peppercorn
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 bay leaves
1 tsp turmeric
6-8 pieces of chicken (any type of pieces you’d like – I used an assortment of skinless chicken)
Marinate chicken for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
In a little oil, add the bay leaves, ground paste and salt and saute.
Add turmeric and marinated chicken and 1/4 cup water.
Cook till chicken is done.
Enjoy the chicken curry with rice or over idiyappams.