We just love how varied Indian cuisine is! Every time we delve in deep, we come across some unique sub regional cuisine that mesmerizes us with their flavours, aroma and use of ingredients. This time, we came across a delicious chicken curry from the South Indian region – Coorg. Popularly referred to as ‘The Coffee Country’, Coorg or the Kodagu district of Karnataka boasts of its distinctive cooking style. The food pattern here is defined by its extensive flora and fauna and changes as per the season and its produce. And the Coorg-style chicken curry is probably one of the best examples to understand the palate of the locals. Let’s find out what makes the dish so unique and how to make it at home.
What Is So Special About Coorg-Style Chicken Curry:
This delicious dish is referred to as koli kari in regional language, where koli stands for chicken and kari is curry in English. A part of the Kodava cuisine (the food culture of Coorg district), koli kari is characterised by the generous use of spices, which are traditionally produced and picked in the coffee estates of the region. Another ingredient that makes koli kari so unique is kachampuli – the local version of the balsamic vinegar, extracted from a fruit called kudampuli. It has its own taste and aroma that adds on to the flavours of the chicken curry. Sounds indulgent, indeed!
How To Make Koli Kari | Coorg-Style Chicken Curry Recipe:
Here, we bring the authentic recipe of koli kari for you to try at home. This particular recipe is shared by Chef Anahita Dhondy on her Instagram handle, where she mentions, “Koli kari recipe is essentially a chicken curry made Kodava style with the usage of coconut paste and spices. It is a flavour packed chicken curry from South India. They make their food flavoursome and spicy, which makes it likeable by all.” She also states that if you do not find kachampuli, then don’t worry, simply eliminate it from the recipe.
To start with, clean and marinate the chicken curry with simple salt, red chill and turmeric and let it rest for at least two hours. Then add some clove, cinnamon in the wok and toss. Then add garlic, onion and other masalas and cook for some time. To it add marinated chicken and mix with the spices. Keep the flame low to avoid it from sticking to the base or getting burnt.
After a while, add coconut paste and a few other spices and cook. Here, you can adjust the quantity of coconut paste as per your preference. Finally, if you have kachampuli, add it to the dish along with green chillies and coriander leaves and turn off the heat. And you have koli kari ready to be relished.
Also Read: 12 Regional Karnataka Dishes And Where To Find Them In Bengaluru
What To Pair With Koli Kari | What Goes Best With Koli Kari:
Koli kari is usually paired with akki roti, ghee rice or as per Chef Anahita Dhondy, you can have it with paputt too. For the unversed, paputt is a traditional Kodava rice cake, made by steaming rice with few basic spices. In the post on Instagram, she also gave us the recipe for paputt.
To make paputt, you need to first wash the broken rice and place it in a heat-proof plate. To it, add ingredients like grated coconut, salt, sugar and few other spices. Then pour water, covering the rice and the other ingredients. Now place the plate in a steamer and prepare it until it turns soft and well-cooked. Finally, cool it down, cut into triangles and serve hot with koli kari.
So, what are you waiting for? Try making this unique meal this weekend and enjoy with friends and family.