We fell in love in with traditional malwani cuisine during our road trip across the picturesque Konkan belt a few years ago. The memories of the beautiful beaches are fresh in our minds as is the taste of the food on our palette!
Malwani cuisine is famous for its spicy quotient and its favourite ingredient – coconut!
This recipe is straight out of our Mommy’s old recipe journal. Here is our humble attempt to recreate it and get this Malwani firecracker on a plate.
Ingredients for the gravy
- 1/2 kg boneless chicken
- 1 grated coconut
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 red chillies
- 1/2 cup coriander leaves
- 6 onions, chopped
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp roasted coriander seeds
- 4-5 green chillies
- 3 garlic pods
- 2 tbsp each of ginger garlic paste
- 3 tbsp malwani masala
- 2 tbsp oil
- Salt to taste
Ingredients for the Malwani Masala:
- 12-14 red chillies
- 2 tsp whole coriander seeds
- 4-5 cloves
- 1/2 tsp peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp shahi jeera seeds
- 4-5 green cardamoms
- 2-3 black cardamoms
- 1tbsp poppy seeds(khus khus)
- 1/2 cup dry coconut, grated
The Making of the Malwani Masala
- In a pan dry roast all the ingredients
- Remember these ingredients need to be roasted without oil.
- The no-oil roasting brings that smoky zing to the masalas
- Be careful to roast these, till a nutty and smoky aroma fills your kitchen. Be careful not to burn them though. Better still, roast till the grated dry coconut changes to a beautiful brown
- Once these ingredients are roasted set them aside to cool
- Once they come to room temperature, grind them to a fine powder
- Do not add any water
- What we are looking for, is a fine masala and not a watery paste
- This could also be stored in an air tight jar for your next malwani escapade as well!
The Making of the Gravy
- In a pan roast the grated coconut and whole red chillies.
- Grind this roasted mixture with the garlic pods, cumin seeds, roasted coriander seeds and water.
- Now add green chillies, chopped coriander, Malwani masala and a little more water. Grind it again into a coarse masala paste.
Heat the oil in a pan, add ginger and garlic paste, chopped onions and cook for a while.
- When the onions turn translucent, add turmeric and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the masala paste to the onions and mix well. At this stage you could also add some more malwani masala like we did, but ofcourse if the spice scares you, skip it.
- Sauté this mixture of onions and masala paste very well, till the oil starts leaving the sides of the pan.
- Pop in the chicken at this point
- Mix the chicken with the masala till the chicken pieces are well coated.
- Cook on a medium flame till the chicken is cooked right through.
So traditionally this is had with piping hot rice with onions and spiky green chillies on the side.
But you could also relish this with phulkas or rice bhakris.