Everyone is cooking up a storm in their kitchens for the upcoming Thanksgiving meal tomorrow, I did my part ! 😉 The big bird “Turkey” always scared the heck out of me, so I settled for the ever friendly chicken……Yes, good things always come in small packets! Thanksgiving is all about celebrating in gratitude with food and fun.This dish is an exclusive one from my native land of Mangalore, a coastal town in South India …..giving the Thanksgiving table a touch of cultural fusion of both my motherland and the land that has adopted me,in gratitude for all the blessings received ❤ ……Yes, like Hafiz the poet, so beautifully says “This place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you ” .
Chicken thighs- 8-10 pieces
Ghee ( Clarified butter)- 6 tbsp ( the original recipe called for half a cup of Ghee, one can tweak it to one’s taste & health concerns,using OIL would change the taste of this recipe completely, so for this as the name suggests it has to be ‘Ghee’ )
Cilantro/Coriander leaves- a few for garnishing
Curry leaves- a few ( I used the curry leaf powder, which is not the same as curry powder ! )
Brown Sugar- 2 tsp
For Marinating the chicken ( 3-4 hours prior) :
Lime juice – 1 full lime
Yogurt/Curds- 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Salt- to taste
For the gravy/masala:
Byadgi/Whole Red chilies – 8-10 (deseed to adjust spice level)
Kashmiri chillies- 6-8 ( mainly used for color, unlike the spicy one above)
Whole Peppercorns or Black Pepper powder – 10 peppercorns/ 1/2 tsp of Black Pepper powder
Coriander seeds- 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds ( Jeera) – 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds( Methi)- 1/4 tsp
Garlic pods – 10-12
Tamarind paste /Tamico – 1/2 tsp
Note: One can grind all the ingredients for the gravy after dry roasting the spices & grinding them fine with little water, or if you have the readymade “Tal powder/ Mangalore Chicken masala powder handy, you can use 2 tbsp of the powder, which basically contains all the above ingredients,mentioned for the gravy/masala.
1.Clean & cut the chicken pieces according desired size.
2. Marinate the clean chicken with yogurt/curds along with lime juice, salt & turmeric powder, mix it well & put in a ziplock bag and refrigerate it for 3-4 hours.This lets the juices seep in & adds to the yumminess of the preparation.
3.Meanwhile heat a tawa or a thick bottomed vessel and add 6-8 tbsp of Ghee ( yes, for once forget dieting & relish the dish itself, I tell you , it’s so WORTH this one!! 😉 )
4.Now you may add all the dry roasted spice paste into the ghee & keep staring until the raw smell disappears before adding the marinated chicken into the mix.If you have the ‘Tal powder’ instead you can skip the dry roasting part & directly add the Tal powder instead.Once the raw smell disappears continue as above with the chicken.Cover with lid and allow it to cook in it’s own steam , as chicken liberates water as it cooks.
5.When Chicken is almost 3/4 cooked add the Tamarind paste/Tamico paste and mix all the pieces well so they are coated with the tamarind paste.
6.At this time you can add the brown sugar to this mix along with some curry leaves for flavor, allow it to full cook, by this time your kitchen would have a heady mix of sweet & tangy spices floating around.
7.Garnish with Cilantro/Coriander leaves, serve hot with brown rice or the classic Mangalorean crepe that goes with it called “Neer Dosa”
If you haven’t been grateful before, at this point you definitely will be, what better way to celebrate Thanksgiving while you are carving your own home traditions for your little one’s with a sprinkling of both cultures, that has shaped you to be the person you are today, that love must pass through many an old oak table amidst laughter & tears….certainly there is always a seat for Gratitude on the table, and a big one at that ! Happy Thanksgiving y’all !!