Wednesday, 3 December 2014

BEERAKAYA KODI KURA/ RIDGEGOURD CHICKEN CURRY - ANOTHER FAVOURITE FROM MUM-IN-LAW'S KITCHEN


BEERAKAYA KODI KURA/RIDGEGOURD CHICKEN CURRY RECIPE :



"You cannot cook like my Mother ". This traditional line prevalent over decades and like heirloom recipes have been passed down from generation to generation. My earliest memory of this phrase was when at the dinning table my paternal grandfather on being asked how the fish curry served to him tasted, he looked up from his plate and hesitantly replied "it's good but cannot match my mother's fish curry." And then began a trail of stories about how his mother and maternal aunts were the world's best cook, turning the lunch into a story session. At that point I was too young to notice the look on my Grandma's face as I was too engrossed in  Grandpa's stories to notice her.

However when this incident was again repeated some years later I was old enough to realise that my Mother was not too happy by Dad's statement and had heard her later confiding on the telephone to her folks, that no matter how hard she tried she would fall short of presenting the perfect dish at par to Grandma's dish at least if not better. I didn't understand why this was such a big deal. If someone cooked better than you so be it. After all we are not the best in all fields we participate, so do we despair ? Offcourse not we try to do better that's it.

However when I got married and the same thing happened with me, I was not perturbed thinking well that's my mum-in-laws forte and she is best in that, likewise I am good in something else. That was it and it ended my adversity to this statement. However it didn't stop me from cooking, as I loved to cook and seeing a happy face after a meal that I had cooked and served would give and still gives me immense happiness. Also I was encouraged by the fact that over the years my Mother-In-Law had warmed up enough to me to share her closely guarded recipes and wholeheartedly open up her kitchen secrets to me. Mr. S was also happy that I was at least trying to create his Mother's magic in my dishes, although they would never match up to her taste, he comforted to the fact that he was getting to have food which were fond reminiscent of his growing up years.


Beerakaya in Telugu language is Ridge Gourd in English, Turai in Hindi and is also known as Luffa, is a very mildly flavoured, slightly sweet tasting vegetable. It can therefore gel well with strong flavoured ingredients in any dish that it is used. Ridge Gourd is a commonly used vegetable in many of my Mum-In-Laws recipes and as I gather from her it is a very likeable vegetable in most Telugu homes.

SERVES : 4
CUISINE : INDIAN
TYPE : MAIN
TIME : 30 MINS PREPARATION + 25-30 MINS COOKING

INGREDIENTS :

1) Chicken - 500 gms cut to medium sized pieces on the bone,
2) Cloves - 3-4,
3) Cinnamon - 1/2 inch stick,
4) Brown Cardamom - 2,
5) Bay Leaves - 1,
6) Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 tbsp,
7) Lime - 1/2,
8) Yogurt - 1 tbsp,
9) Ridge Gourd/Beerakaya/Turai/Luffa - 250-300 gms,
10) Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp,
11) Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp,
12) Curry Leaves - 1 sprig,
13) Red Onions - 1 large finely chopped,
14) Green Chillies - 2-3 chopped,
15) Tomatoes - 2 medium size chopped finely,
16) Turmeric Powder - 1tsp,
17) Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp,
18) Garam Masala Powder- 1 1/2 tsp,
19) Poppy Seeds - 1 tbsp if you are using cashew nuts with it or 2 tbsp otherwise,
20) Cashewnuts - 9-10(optional),
21) Salt to taste,
22) Milk - 3 tbsp,
23) Fresh Coriander Leaves - 4 tbsp finely chopped,
24) Oil - 3 tbsp

GET COOKING WITH ME IN EASY STEPS : 

STEP 1: Clean the Chicken pieces and marinate them with Yogurt, Ginger Garlic Paste (about 1 1/2 tsp leaving the rest for the gravy base) and in the juice of the entire squeezed Lime. Give the chicken pieces a nice massage with marinade so that each piece is coated evenly and leave in the refrigerator to soak in the massaged spices for at least 1/2 an hour.


STEP 2 : I would like to introduce all you who are not familiar with the Ridge Gourd to this vegetable. Its a dark green in colour and derives its name from the multiple ridges on its body.


After washing the ridge gourd thoroughly, dry it with a paper towel and cut the long ridge gourd into smaller pieces so that you can easily remove its ridges, the raised vertical stripes placed at equal intervals throughout its body surface.


With the help of a knife slowly peel off each of its ridges. Its very simple similar to peeling off the skin of a vegetable.


After the ridges are removed the Ridge Gourd looks more even and circular. Leave the skin in between the ridges as it is.


Now chop the long cylindrical ridge gourd into 1/2 inch circles then cut the circles into half. This is the way my mum-in-law dices the ridge gourd. But in many Telugu kitchens they slice it into much bigger pieces. The choice is entirely yours.


Assemble all the Ingredients at hands reach.


STEP 3 : This I would say is an optional step which you can omit. But I have seen mum-in-law give this treatment to all the meat she cooks with. This is her secret to infuse the Chicken with the flavours of the Garam Masala and also to eliminate any unwanted smell from the chicken.She says the Chicken never tastes bland after this treatment. She boils water in a pan after adding Cinnamon, Cardamom, Bay leaves, Cloves and Brown Cardamoms, 1 1/2 tsp of Oil to it. Into the boiling water she plunges the Chicken pieces and allows them to simmer away till they are almost cooked. After that she removes the whole spices and uses the remaining water in the gravy.



STEP 4 : In a pan heat oil and into the hot oil spoon in the Mustard and Cumin seeds. As soon as the chattering in the pan starts add the Curry Leaves and enjoy the loud pitter patter sound in the pan.


STEP 5 : Don't let any of the ingredient burn, so quickly add in the Red Onions along with Green Chillies. Stir to saute the onions well.


STEP 6: As the colour of the onions in the pan start fading, add in the Tomatoes and Ginger Garlic paste. Keep stirring continuously so as not to burn any ingredient and evenly cook them.


STEP 7 : As soon as the tomatoes melt, add the powdered spices that is, Turmeric powder and Red Chilli Powder. Keep stirring and mixing all the Ingredients in the pan.


STEP : 8 You can now add the Ridge Gourd and mix well with the gravy base.



STEP 9: Add the Poppy Seed and Cashewnuts Paste. The Poppy Seeds and Cashewnuts are soaked in the warm milk for at least half an hour, then ground into a smooth paste. Stir to incorporate the paste into the ingredients in the pan.


STEP 10 : Once the raw smell of the poppy seeds paste goes away, add the water in which the Chicken was boiled earlier. Don't add the Chicken pieces at this stage as they are already cooked and we still need to cook the ridge gourd. Cover the pan and simmer till the ridge gourd becomes soft.


STEP 11 : Now add in the Chicken pieces, the Garam Masala Powder and season well with the salt. After amalgamating everything in the pan nicely, add the chopped coriander. Depending upon the amount of gravy you want you can add some more water now. Simmer for a couple of minutes and your Ridge Gourd Chicken Curry is good to go.


STEP 12 : Serve the piping hot curry with steamed rice or bread of your choice.


RIDGE GOURD CHICKEN CURRY RECIPE

INGREDIENTS :

1) Chicken - 500 gms cut to medium sized pieces on the bone,
2) Cloves - 3-4,
3) Cinnamon - 1/2 inch stick,
4) Brown Cardamom - 2,
5) Bay Leaves - 1,
6) Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 tbsp,
7) Lime - 1/2,
8) Yogurt - 1 tbsp,
9) Ridge Gourd/Beerakaya/Turai/Luffa - 250-300 gms,
10) Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp,
11) Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp,
12) Curry Leaves - 1 sprig,
13) Red Onions - 1 large finely chopped,
14) Green Chillies - 2-3 chopped,
15) Tomatoes - 2 medium size chopped finely,
16) Turmeric Powder - 1tsp,
17) Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp,
18) Garam Masala Powder- 1 1/2 tsp,
19) Poppy Seeds - 1 tbsp if you are using cashew nuts with it or 2 tbsp otherwise,
20) Cashewnuts - 9-10(optional),
21) Salt to taste,
22) Milk - 3 tbsp,
23) Fresh Coriander Leaves - 4 tbsp finely chopped,
24) Oil - 3 tbsp


GET COOKING WITH ME IN EASY STEPS : 

STEP 1: Clean the Chicken pieces and marinate them with Yogurt, Ginger Garlic Paste (about 1 1/2 tsp leaving the rest for the gravy base) and in the juice of the entire squeezed Lime. Give the chicken pieces a nice massage with marinade so that each piece is coated evenly and leave in the refrigerator to soak in the massaged spices for at least 1/2 an hour.

STEP 2 : I would like to introduce all you who are not familiar with the Ridge Gourd to this vegetable. Its a dark green in colour and derives its name from the multiple ridges on its body.

After washing the ridge gourd thoroughly, dry it with a paper towel and cut the long ridge gourd into smaller pieces so that you can easily remove its ridges, the raised vertical stripes placed at equal intervals throughout its body surface.

With the help of a knife slowly peel off each of its ridges. Its very simple similar to peeling off the skin of a vegetable.

After the ridges are removed the Ridge Gourd looks more even and circular. Leave the skin in between the ridges as it is.

Now chop the long cylindrical ridge gourd into 1/2 inch circles then cut the circles into half. This is the way my mum-in-law dices the ridge gourd. But in many Telugu kitchens they slice it into much bigger pieces. The choice is entirely yours.

Assemble all the Ingredients at hands reach.

STEP 3 : This I would say is an optional step which you can omit. But I have seen mum-in-law give this treatment to all the meat she cooks with. This is her secret to infuse the Chicken with the flavours of the Garam Masala and also to eliminate any unwanted smell from the chicken.She says the Chicken never tastes bland after this treatment. She boils water in a pan after adding Cinnamon, Cardamom, Bay leaves, Cloves and Brown Cardamoms, 1 1/2 tsp of Oil to it. Into the boiling water she plunges the Chicken pieces and allows them to simmer away till they are almost cooked. After that she removes the whole spices and uses the remaining water in the gravy.

STEP 4 : In a pan heat oil and into the hot oil spoon in the Mustard and Cumin seeds. As soon as the chattering in the pan starts add the Curry Leaves and enjoy the loud pitter patter sound in the pan.

STEP 5 : Don't let any of the ingredient burn, so quickly add in the Red Onions along with Green Chillies. Stir to saute the onions well.

STEP 6: As the colour of the onions in the pan start fading, add in the Tomatoes and Ginger Garlic paste. Keep stirring continuously so as not to burn any ingredient and evenly cook them.

STEP 7 : As soon as the tomatoes melt, add the powdered spices that is, Turmeric powder and Red Chilli Powder. Keep stirring and mixing all the Ingredients in the pan.

STEP : 8 You can now add the Ridge Gourd and mix well with the gravy base.

STEP 9: Add the Poppy Seed and Cashewnuts Paste. The Poppy Seeds and Cashewnuts are soaked in the warm milk for at least half an hour, then ground into a smooth paste. Stir to incorporate the paste into the ingredients in the pan.

STEP 10 : Once the raw smell of the poppy seeds paste goes away, add the water in which the Chicken was boiled earlier. Don't add the Chicken pieces at this stage as they are already cooked and we still need to cook the ridge gourd. Cover the pan and simmer till the ridge gourd becomes soft.

STEP 11 : Now add in the Chicken pieces, the Garam Masala Powder and season well with the salt. After amalgamating everything in the pan nicely, add the chopped coriander. Depending upon the amount of gravy you want you can add some more water now. Simmer for a couple of minutes and your Ridge Gourd Chicken Curry is good to go.

STEP 12 : Serve the piping hot curry with steamed rice or bread of your choice.


NOTE :
*You can also all coconut and grind it with the poppy seeds and cashewnuts to form the paste.
*You can substitute cashew nuts with almonds or magajtari seeds(water melon kernels).
*This recipe may vary in other Telugu households. After all a recipe is not a bible but only a guideline left open to add your creative touch by adding or removing ingredients accordingly.

CHECK LIST :

1) Chicken, 2) Cloves, 3) Cinnamon, 4) Brown Cardamom, 5) Bay Leaves, 6) Ginger Garlic Paste, 
7) Lime, 8) Yogurt, 9) Ridge Gourd, 10) Mustard Seeds, 11) Cumin Seeds, 12) Curry Leaves, 13) Red Onions, 14) Green Chillies, 15) Tomatoes, 16) Turmeric Powder, 17) Red Chilli Powder, 18) Garam Masala Powder, 19) Poppy Seeds, 20) Cashewnuts (optional), 21) Salt, 22) Milk, 23) Fresh Coriander Leaves, 24) Oil