Kozhi (pronounce as koli) is the Tamil translation for chicken. Before the arrival of the broiler chickens in India, the home grown chickens would sense a tough time during the festival days .Yes , it is true, there was a time when people would not get chicken from grocery stores. Instead the lady of the house should have a strong mind to process the bird. My mom being a fragile lady, used to instruct the maid to finish all the processing outside our gate and to bring the cut pieces. So having chicken curry would be a distant dream for those chicken hearted people in that period. But getting goat meat was not that difficult, as there would be ample shops selling them.
Nowadays we are very lucky to have chicken in any time of the year.
But definitely we miss the native style 'kozhi kulambu' prepared with country chicken (Nattu Kozhi). Any way I tried to make the most of what I get to bring back those memories.
I prepared this Kulambu for Easter dinner along with rice and deep fried drumsticks.
Chicken (with bone) - 1/2 kg (1 lb)
salt - to taste / 2 tsp
water - 5 cups
oil - 4 tbsp
Fennel seed (sombu) - 1 tsp
To chop separately:
Red onion - 2 (100 gms)
Roma tomato / vine tomato - 4
curry leaves - 1 brig
cilantro - 1 handful
mint leaves - 1 handful
To Dry roast and powder:
(we can add 1 tbsp garam masal powder instead of this step)
Pepper corn - 1/2 tsp
coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel seed - 1 tsp
cinnamon - 1 inch
Cardamom (Elakkai) - 2
Cloves (Kirambu) - 4
Cashew - 10
To wet grind:
Ginger - 2 inch
garlic - 4 pearls
coconut - 1 long piece (1/2 cup shredded)
cumin - 1 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1 tbsp
coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Wash and clean the chicken pieces in running water.Apply some turmeric powder and keep aside.
Heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil in a deep pan and add 1 tsp fennel seeds (sombu).
After it turns red , add the curry leaf ,chopped onion and fry till it becomes golden brown.
Then add the chopped tomato, green chilli, cilantro , mint leaves, curry leaves and cook till they becomes mushy with oil starts showing up.
Now add the ginger garlic paste and stir it well for 30 seconds.
(Adding the ginger garlic paste after the tomato is a good idea to prevent charring of ginger-garlic paste).
Now put the chicken pieces and stir it for 2 minutes.
Grind the roasted spices along with coconut (optional). We can do this without coconut also. But coconut removes the strong chicken flavor and imparts a sweet smell.
Add water along with the powders, salt.
Then cook the chicken till it becomes tender (simply in a tightly closed vessel).
Check for salt.
The chicken kulambu should be thinner than the chicken gravy .
Kozhi kulambu is ready!
Serve hot as side dish with paratha /Idly / aapam / thicker dosa / ghee rice / coconut milk rice / plain rice.
Serves 6 people.