"Dahi" means yoghurt in Hindi and "dahiwala chicken" is just that-chicken curry cooked with yoghurt. It is a very popular dish in India and I think originates from the state of Punjab. However, as with all things in India, we welcome guests and then make them our own, so too with this chicken curry that has been given a "Kerala twist". It's a supremely easy recipe that even an amateur cook can try. Also perfect for those days when you have less time or unexpected guests.
Before I go into the recipe, I have a confession to make. I love animals so much that I've even considered having a career in animal rights activism....but the only thing standing between me and such a career? My love for chicken-and I mean chicken fry, chicken curry, chicken kebabs, chicken legs, chicken liver, chicken wings, chicken pie...you name it and I've tried it, cooked it and love it! Can't imagine life without a chicken by my side...But I can never go to a store to buy fresh chicken and watch it being dressed and never ever take my son to a chicken store that sells fresh chicken. I really, from the bottom of my heart, feel sorry for the chicken, my baser instincts always take over when it comes to the table all cooked and ready to eat. I remember this one time when I was about 4 or 5 years old (and we were in Nigeria). I think it was a Sunday afternoon and dad brings home these two live roosters and ties them to a post at the back of our house. When I found out that my favorite chicken dishes actually came from a live creature, I felt so sad that I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting next to them in the hot sun outside, imagining all kinds of rescue scenarios, from untying them to carrying them out of the garden to letting them fly free on the other side of the fence, but never got the courage to do it. I cried and fought with my parents and promised never to eat a chicken ever again in my life....I don't remember what my mom prepared out of it, but I do remember that I couldn't resist it when it made its appearance on the dining table.....I feel ashamed of this and remember the good-natured teasing from my parents also, but nothing has been able to make me keep my promise of not eating chicken ever again! Well, so now you know how chicken-hearted I am, let's get on to the recipe.....
To serve 3 to 4 chicken lovers
- 500 grams chicken, cut into medium size pieces, washed and drained
- Half cup thick yoghurt
- 1 large onion, sliced thin
- 2 green chillies, slit
- 2 tablespoon gingvger-garlic paste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chilli powder (depending on your tolerance for heat)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Salt to taste
- In a pressure cooker, mix the chicken, yoghurt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, and salt. Mix everything around until well combined.
- I usually count the cooking time in a pressure cooker by the minutes, not the whistles (as taught by my mom!). So after closing the lid and the steam comes out, put the weight on and after the first whistle, reduce to a simmer and cook for 7 to 8 minutes.
- In a separate frying pan, do the "tadka", ie., heat the oil and throw in the mustard seeds, wait for it to crackle.
- Then tip in the curry leaves, onions and green chillies.
- When the onions turn a light brown, add the ginger-garlic paste.
- By now, the chicken would have been cooked. When the cooker is cool, open and transfer the chicken with the gravy to the fried onion mixture.
- Stir everything around well, simmer and cook for another 2 minutes and its done!
This is great to go with rice, chapathi, bread, appam....your call!
TIPS: To reduce the cooking time, I use a pressure cooker, but you could cook it in a pan or kadhai otherwise.
I am linking this to the following blog events:
Kerala Kitchen at Magpie's Recipes
The Kerala Kitchen Monthly Event
Family Friendly Fridays
Decidedly Healthy or Horridly Decadent
Keep It Simple Sunday #17