This is my mother’s recipe with slight variations here and there. I have used grated coconut instead of the coconut slices or thengakottu. She used to make this little bit more dry but I love to retain little moisture in the dish, so have used tomato. Also you can make lamb/goat roast also with the same recipe, but would need to cook (pressure cook) for more than one whistle.
- Chicken – 1 kg (I normally use thigh instead of breast)
- Onions – 1 big (thin slices)
- Shallots – 1 cup (thin slices)
- Tomato – 1 medium
- 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 – 2 medium size (adjust to your spice level)
- Garlic – 3 tsp (Crushing garlic/ginger gives more taste than slicing it)
- Ginger – 3 tsp
- Salt – as required
- Mustard Seeds
- Oil – 1 tsp
- Curry Leaves
- Lemon Juice – 2 tsp (I use freshly squeezed one )
1.Red Chilly powder – 1 ½ tsp
2.Pepper powder – 1 tsp
3.Garam Masala – 1 tsp (I usually use the garam masala my Mother in law prepares – she uses Cloves, Cardamom, Star ainse, Cinnamon to make the masala)
4. Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
5. Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
6. Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
1.Mix the turmeric, salt, garam masala and pepper powder in a bowl.
2. Add ginger and garlic (1 1/2 tsp each) to the mixture.
3. Make a marinade of this with little water and lemon juice.
4. Mix the chicken pieces with the mixture above.
5. Keep this in room temperature for 30 mts. (I start the prep work at this time).
6. After 30 minutes, add the marinade into a pressure cooker with very little water (chicken would ooze out water, so add little water only). I usually keep it for 1 whistle.
- Heat Oil in a kadai, add green chillies and curry leaves . Add ginger and garlic. Saute until the ginger garlic turns to light brown color.
- Add the chopped onions and shallots. Saute this until they turn golden brown.
- Add tomatoes to this. (Not everyone uses tomato in this dish, I use it so that it would be still moist).
- Add red chilli powder, corinader powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and cumin powder to this and saute until the raw smell of the masala is gone.
- Add the grated coconut to the pan.
- 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. Try not to break the chicken by vigorous mixing, we would need the chicken pieces to be mixed well but with the cube shape intact. (I add the broth from the pressure cooker to get the aroma and flavor).
- Add lemon juice and salt (as required). Saute it until the chicken is dry and golden brown.
- Enjoy the Chicken Varattiyathu with white rice or chappathi. (In order to get the maximum flavor keep the dish for about an hour or so before serving).