Semi-dry Roasted Chicken

We all have our trivial yet significant rituals when it comes to food. For me, one that holds utmost importance is the mandatory meat hogging on Sundays. I’m so used to this, that vegetarian food on these days feels almost unimaginable.

This is how it goes.

Mom and dad desperately attempt to pull us out of our beds.

They give up and try to make sense of our sleepy mumblings as to what we’d like for lunch.

Mom tries hard to strike a balance between all our outrageous demands to make sure she doesn’t have to look at a sulky face at lunch.

Much to her chagrin, mom is forced to put up with our endless hunger rants and the head popping into her kitchen.

And finally, AND FINALLY, lunch gets served, and our ever grumbling tummies are gradually put to rest.

Sundays like these have always been a tradition.

Having witnessed this right from childhood leaves a mark that can’t be easily let go of. To this day, the Sunday routine is followed, except that mom has to unwillingly give up a portion of the kitchen to her beloved daughter and everyone is forced to muster up zen levels of patience in pacifying their tummies. Thanks to the late lunch and the late cook who steps into the kitchen at no less than 12 PM.

On one such day, it was agreed upon that chicken with roast and ground spices, coconut, sesame seeds, and onions will be cooked. The flavor and aroma of the ground ingredients infused with the chicken is something that I’ll always remain a fan of. Easy to prepare, with the simplest of ingredients, this dish is a potential saviour on days when all you want is comforting food and conversations that will be cherished.

Try it out and let me know about your Sundays and if food like this is what keeps you going for the rest of the week.

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Recipe:

Ingredients (serves 4):

  1. Chicken – 1 kg (on the bone)
  2. Cumin seeds – 2 tsp.
  3. Turmeric powder – 2 tsp.
  4. Red chilli powder – 2 tsp.
  5. Vegetable oil – 2 tbsp.
  6. Salt – to taste
  7. Chopped coriander (to garnish)

To roast and grind:

  1. Dry long red chillies – 7
  2. Cloves – 5
  3. Peppercorns – 1 tsp.
  4. Coriander seeds – 2 tbsp.
  5. Sesame seeds – 2 tbsp.

To saute and grind:

  1. Coconut – 1/2 cup
  2. Roughly chopped onion – 2
  3. Chopped ginger – 2 tsp.
  4. Garlic – 5 cloves
  5. Green chilli – 2 (finely chopped)
  6. Vegetable oil – 2 tbsp.

Method:

  1. Roast all the ingredients under ‘To roast and grind’ until you can smell the spices. Remove it from the stove, let it cool and grind to a fine powder.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add the garlic, green chillies and the ginger. Saute it for a minute.
  3. Add the onions and a little salt, as it helps the onions cook faster. Saute until translucent.
  4. Add the coconut and sauce until it turns slightly brown. Remove from heat and let it cool.
  5. Grind it to a coarse paste. Now add 1/2 a cup of water and grind it to a paste.
  6. Heat the rest of the oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds and the paste. Keep stirring in between and cook on low flame until oil starts separating out from the edges of the pan.
  7. Add the chicken, salt, red chilli powder, and turmeric powder. Cook for a few minutes and a little water. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender.
  8. Sprinkle some coriander and serve with pulao.

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