I did my schooling from St Mary’s, kochi which was a convent school. On days when I didn’t bring my lunch (I remember few occasions I purposefully 🙂 forgot to bring my packed lunch), I used to go to the canteen for the kids who were in boarding. There used to be this dish (luck was with me almost always that most of the days I didn’t bring lunch they had this dish in the menu) which is called as Chicken Ulathiyathu (a typical Kerala Christian dish). It tastes so heavenly that a small niagara used to emerge in my mouth when I think about this dish. My mom used to make chicken curry (which tastes awesome, but somehow she never made the way authentic christian families make). I am still to taste this from my mother in law, I am sure she would be able to make it as I like because she was born and brought up among a lot of christian families and her cooking has that influence. So it was always my wish to make this when I grow up. Until 2012 I never tried this and on one fine thursday I wanted to make this dish and to surprise my husband. I searched internet and found few recipes, mixed and matched, but at last made my own recipe. It was not bad as there was nothing left the next day (My husband, Mahesh and my friend Khushal helped to finish it that fast). So I made it few more times, added few tweaks and now it tastes the same always and till date that is my husband’s favorite dish.
- Chicken – 1 kg (I normally use thigh instead of breast)
- Onions – 3 (if small) /4 (big)
- Dried Red chilles – 1 handful (crush it in a grinder)
- Garam Masala – 2 tsp (I usually use the garam masala my Mother in law prepares – she uses Cloves, Cardamom, Star ainse, Cinnamon to make the masla)
- Pepper – 1 tsp (crushed and grinded, thanks to my Mother in law for this as well)
- Coriander Powder – 3tsp
- Coconut – 1 cup (I normally don’t find the dried ones, so I take the frozen grated coconut, keep it in microwave for a minute and thaw it).
- Green Chillies – 4 medium size (adjust to your spice level)
- Garlic – 3 tsp (Crushing garlic/ginger gives more taste than slicing it)
- Ginger – 3 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
- Salt – as required
- Oil – 1 tsp
- Curry Leaves
- Heat a Kadai (no oil needed), add ingredients 4 through 6 and mix it well for 1 minute in low flame. Add the crushed red chillies and mix it thoroughly for about 2 minutes. Keep the mixture in a bowl.
- Add grated coconut into this kadai and saute until it is golden yellow.
- Cut the chicken and marinate the pieces with 2 tsp of the mixture we just roasted in Step 1.
- After 20 minutes, add the marinate into a pressure cooker, add 1 handful of chopped onions, little water (chicken would ooze out water, so add little water only) and ingredients 8 through 12 (keeping ¼ aside). I usually keep it for 2 whistles.
- Heat Oil in a kadai, add curry leaves and then add the rest of chopped onions, and the ingredients from 8 through 12 (¼ we kept aside in step 3.). Saute this until they turn golden brown.
- Add the grated coconut (from Step 2) to the pan.
- Add ½ of mixture from step 1 to the pan, mix all ingredients well and even.
- Add the chicken pieces from the pressure cooker. Use a thick bamboo/wooden spatula/spoon and mix the chicken pieces with the ingredients in the pan. (I tend to make the chicken little shredded before adding, so that it is easy to mix. Also I add the broth from the pressure cooker to get the aroma and flavor).
- Add the rest of the mixture from step 1, lemon juice and salt (as required). Saute it until the chicken is dry and golden brown.
- Enjoy the Chicken Ulathiyathu with white rice or chappathi.