Desi style chicken & winning a cookbook by master chef New Zealand winner

Nadia & me

I  visited Taste of Mumbai yesterday, an international event which takes place in other parts of the world and for the first time it is happening in Mumbai. The spread of international or fusion food is something to experience. I had some sushi and some Spanish nibbles, which were really good. However, I did miss the real Mumbai taste of pav bhajji or keema pav or maybe even desi chicken. Kalyan of finely chopped also had similar thoughts.

The highlight for me at the event was meeting and winning (through a twitter contest organized by taste of Mumbai & HTCafe) Nadia  Lim’s (winner of master chef New Zealand, second series) cookbook, Nadia’s Kitchen. The book not only focuses on eating healthy but also seasonal eating and the recipes in the book has been beautifully showcased.

If you have read my earlier post about free range chicken and how/why I like my chicken free range. The free range chicken works really well for Indian style curry. Try this recipe once to taste the difference between a broiler and a free range. You can also watch my recipe video shared at the end of this post 🙂

desi chicken


400g of chicken marinated overnight in curd, chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder

1 tbs oil

4-5 curry leaves

½ tsp of mustard seeds

1 tsp kachampuli/tamarind/kokum

Salt to taste
fresh coriander leaves & grated coconut for garnish
 for masala/gravy
1 tsp of oil
1 tbsp of mixed spices – cumin, pepper and cloves
20g coriander seeds
1–2 inch piece of ginger, cut roughly
4-5 garlic cloves
1 medium sized onion cut roughly
1 medium sized tomato cut roughly
100g of grated coconut
1 inch cinnamon stick/ cinnamon powder
4-5 dried red chillies


  • Add 1 tsp of oil. Add 1 tbsp of mixed spices – cumin, pepper, cloves, coriander seeds and dried chillies.Roast the spices.
  • Add the onions. Toss them around until translucent. Add ginger,  garlic and tomatoes. Do not overcook the ingredients.
  • Add the grated coconut. Toss the ingredients around and add cinnamon powder. Turn off the gas and allow the mixture to cool for 15-20 mins.
  • Blend the mixture into a fine paste.
  • Add oil into a pan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  • Add the prepared masala and some water to to lighten the gravy.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer on a medium flame for 20-25 mins.
  • When you see a layer of oil on top of the masala, it means that the masala is ready.
  • Add the chicken,  salt and mix well.
  • Let the chicken cook on a medium flame for 20-25 mins with the lid on.
  • When chicken is cooked, add 1 tsp of kachampuli/ tamaring pulp/ kokam or any other souring agent
  • Cook for another 2-3 mins and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or chapatti. Serves 4.

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