Chicken stew

Stew is undoubtedly one of the most popular dishes in the Kerala cuisine. The dish, brought to Kerala by the Syrian Christians, is called 'ishtoo' in North Malabar. There are a handful of unique recipes for this delicious dish made with chicken, mutton, or vegetables. The creamy and fragrant stew goes amazingly well with breakfast dishes like appam and idiyappam.

The stew, a perfect combination of meat and vegetables, has its origins in 4th century Japan. The mild sweetness from the coconut milk and the delicious flavour and aroma of the spices make the dish extra delicious. This dish, which is loved by Keralites all over the world, is a primary item in the menu of all the hotels which serve authentic Kerala cuisine.

Try out this simple recipe of the special chicken stew.

Chicken pieces with bones
Coconut oil
Fennel seeds
Bay leaf
Star anise
Black pepper corns
Onions (cubed)
Shallots (cubed)
Green chillies (sliced)
Ginger (sliced)
Curry leaves
4 potatoes (cubed)
100 ml milk (optional)
2 coconuts (first and second extracts)

Heat coconut oil in a vessel with thick bottom
Into it add cardamoms, fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, star anise, and black pepper corns
Roast until the spices turn fragrant
Add the onions, shallots, green chillies, ginger and curry leaves 
Sauté for two minutes on low flame
Add the cubed potatoes and sauté
Into it add the chicken pieces and sauté well for at least five minutes on low flame
Add the milk if required
Pour a bit of water and allow the chicken pieces to cook
Instead of water, the chicken pieces could be cooked in the second extract of coconut milk as well
Add salt as required and mix 
When the chicken pieces are almost cooked, add the first extract of the coconut milk
Sprinkle some ghee over it and allow the chicken pieces to cook well on low flame.

Blending a cooked piece of potato along with the first extract of coconut milk would make the gravy thick and creamy.

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