We all have those lazy cooking days when we want our meal to be quick still reminiscent of a good home-cooked food that remind us of comforting hands of mom and that kitchen scent which still lingers in the memory. We returned from a three day vacay at Ra’s Al Khaimah on Saturday, and after gobbling restaurant meals all that I ached for was a warming no-fuss dinner cooked in my own kitchen – only if I could walk past the door to a familiar fragrance from the kitchen and mom hugging me tightly to ask the intricate details of my road trip. I still can’t stop beaming with smile when I think of breakfast by the pool-side, sparkling sea water, beach bumming, soaking the sunshine, numerous hours in the pool et all which I’ll discuss more in a later post.
I am a big-big fan of delicious and simple recipes – the ones that are a perfect dose of happiness and include straightforward directions. After a long drive to Dubai engulfed with many sand dunes on both sides of the road, I only yearned to spend a fraction of time in the kitchen – with just a pot of tea simmering on the stove while a batch of chicken drumsticks defrost on their own, later to evolve in a delightful thick green paste made of coriander, coconut and green chillies.
This recipe of traditional green chicken has been passed down through generations and still hits the spot whenever it is served with either naan or ideally cooked basmati rice. The ingredients for green paste are very similar to the ones used in a chutney, a very popular condiment in any Indian household, yet the flavors from dry coconut lift the dish like no other – and all that lovely lush green color is entirely natural.
This chicken recipe is simple, however conforms the crux of every Bohra dish; that every bite should be a love of hard-labor, prepared lavishly to feed your heart and soul.
Green Chicken, a la Bohri style
- Chicken, with bones – 500 gms, cleaned
- Onion – 1, thinly sliced
- Coriander – 1 cup. washed
- Mint leaves – 1/4 cup, washed
- Green chillies – 2 or more
- Dry coconut – 2 tbsp, grated
- Cashew nuts – 1 tbsp
- Garlic – 4 pods
- Whole cumin – 1 tbsp
- Salt to taste
- Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
- Water as required
Wash the chicken, pat dry and keep aside. In a dry pan, slightly roast cashews and cumin until fragrant. Grind together cashew, cumin, onion, coriander, mint, green chillies, garlic and coconut to a smooth thick paste, adding a tablespoon water as required. Heat oil and saute the green paste until oil start to leave from the sides. Add in chicken, salt and continue cook at medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add water if the gravy is too thick and close the lid. Cook for another few minutes on a low flame till the chicken is cooked to the bone. Squeeze a lime and serve hot with chapatis, naan or rice.