Kannur-special chicken kalmas

Image: Ganga Srikanth

Ever heard of kalmas? For those not familiar with the word, it’s a Kannur special snack, the varieties of which come out when it’s time to break the Ramadan fast. It’s also made on special occasions. One could call the kalmas another version of the 'kozhukatta'. Kalmas can be made with egg, chicken, beef and prawns.

1 cup raw rice/pachari
1¼ cup water
Salt as required
1 tsp ghee
¼ cup shredded coconut
6 shallots
½ tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp maida
400 gm chicken
2 onions
1 tsp ginger-garlic crushed
1 sprig curry leaves
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
A handful of chopped coriander leaves
4 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp rice flour
1 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Green chillies as required

Wash raw rice thoroughly, keep it soaked for about four hours and then grind it to smooth batter with ½ a cup of water
Add ¾ water to the batter to adjust the consistency
Shift the batter to a thick bottomed vessel
Add ghee and salt to it
Cook the batter over a moderate flame till it thickens to a loose dough-like consistency
Coarsely grind shredded coconut, shallots and fennel seeds
Add this to the rice batter
Add the maida also to it
Mix it thoroughly to a dough
Pressure cook the chicken along with turmeric powder, salt and ¼ cup of water for up to two whistles
When it cools down, remove the bones and shred the meat
In another pan, sauté chopped onions, crushed ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves
When the onions start to brown, add the turmeric, chilli and coriander powders
Add ½ tsp garam masala too
Saute the mix till the raw smell of the masalas no longer lingers
Add in the shredded chicken and salt and sauté again until it turns dry
Turn off the flame and spread in the coriander leaves
Make lime-sized balls of the previously prepared dough, pat them into small cups and add in the chicken mix
Seal in the sides and roll them again in the shape of unnakayas
Now steam them for about 20 minutes over a moderate flame
The next step is to make a thick paste with a teaspoon each of rice flour, chilli powder and garam masala
In a pan pour in two tablespoons of either coconut oil or ghee, roll the kalmas in the spice paste and fry them till they turn crisp on both sides
Scrumptious Kannur kalmas is now ready to be served!

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