Chicken Coondapuri is one of my all time favorite dishes. This is a specialty from Mangalore, which is a coastal city located on the southwestern coast in the state of Karnataka. Mangalore is often referred to as the "Gateway to Karnataka". The cuisine of Mangalore is characterized by its use of fresh coconuts, hot chilies and fragrant spices. Although Mangalore is well known for its wonderful seafood dishes, Coondapuri Chicken continues to be a regional favorite. The addition of a freshly ground home made masala (spice mixture) is what makes this dish so special and of course, absolutely delicious.
This dish is simple to prepare and just perfect for entertaining. It can be made well ahead of time and warmed through just before serving. I am sure your family and friends will enjoy it as much as mine do.
CHICKEN COONDAPURI CURRY
3-4 lbs of chicken pieces (boneless and skinless), cut into 1.5” pieces
1 large onion, finely chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
juice of 1 lemon
1 can of good quality coconut milk
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
For the MASALA: dry roast and grind to a fine powder
6-8 dried red chilies (to taste)
1 tbsp coriander seeds
½ tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
2 tsp turmeric
Heat the spices in a dry pan on medium high heat until slightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and using a spice grinder, grind into a fine powder.
In a large mixing bowl, add the chicken pieces along with the ground masala spices, salt, lemon juice and the coconut milk. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
In a large deep skillet on medium high heat, add the oil and when hot, add the onions. Fry until slightly golden and then add the ginger and garlic. When browned, add the chicken pieces and the marinade as well. Reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes on low heat. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and serve with warm rotis and fragrant Basmati rice.