The Nilgiri or Blue Mountains often referred to as the Nilgiri Hills, are a range of mountains in the western ghats.It is famous for its hill resorts like Ooty ,TamilNadu, India.
A good way to enjoy the Flora (plant life) of Ooty is to go for trekking.
Over 2700 species of flowering plants, 160 species of fern and fern allies, countless types of flowerless plants, mosses, fungi, algae, land lichens are found in the Nilgiris.
It was originally occupied by the tribes called Todas.They worship nature .They have their own language, rich arts and crafts .Their food habits are very simple and use a lot of greens in cooking instead of our 'curry powders'. (Reference: Wikipedia)
They are known for their Nilgiri tea and 'Nilgiri chicken kuruma'.In the olden days even before the masala sachets made their way to the village petty shops ,these people would have found a unique way to make their healthy chicken recipe. Later on , even star hotels master it and earned a lot from this delicious curry.Though this kuruma seems more green than our chilli powder version, the taste remains more classic than any other one.Here is the recipe for their famous 'Nilgiri chicken kuruma'.
(Pardon me for this picture.Actually my camera did not do any justice and showed the green color as a hue of brown.)
chicken - 1/2 kg (with bones)
Onion - 1 (50 gm)
gingelly oil - 2 tbsp
tomato - 1
curd - 1/2 cup
potato - 3
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Fennel seeds/ perunjeeragam - 1/2 tsp
salt - to taste.
chopped mint and cilantro - 2 handful (for garnishing)
(To soak and grind)
shredded coconut - 3 tbsp
cashew - 6 (optional)
poppy seeds - 1 tbsp
coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
green cardamom - 3
cloves - 4
fennel seeds - 1 tsp
cinnamon - 1/4 inch
green chilli - 10
cilantro - a handful
mint leaf - a handful
ginger - 2 inch
garlic - 4 pods
Wash and clean the chicken pieces. Apply turmeric powder and wash again.Marinate it with curd, salt and paste 2.
Soak the items given under paste 1 for 1 hour and grind them to a creamy paste.
Heat oil in a kadai. Fry the fennel seeds to red color.
Add the chopped onions and fry till it becomes golden brown.
Now goes the chopped tomatoes. After the tomato gets cooked , add the ginger garlic paste (paste 3). After the raw smell changes add the chicken pieces and stir for some time. Now add the paste 1 with 2 cups of water.
Peel and cut the potato in to big pieces and add it to the boiling chicken.
Close the vessel with a lid and stir occasionally.
cook it for nearly 1/2 an hour or till the chicken becomes tender.
This kuruma can be like a thick gravy.
After putting off the flame add finely chopped mint leaves and cilantro.
Nilgiri chicken kuruma is ready.
Serve hot with steamed rice, Idly, dosa , poori,chapathi or paratha.
I served this with Malaysian parotta , bought from Indian stores.
Serves 5 people.