In traditional Mangalorean cuisine, coconut is almost always the main ingredient and is used even more for festivals and special celebrations. Coconut gives any food a distinct coastal feel, a kind of sweetness that brings out the flavour of the region and a reminder of the sea.
My favourite coastal Karnataka dish is Kori Rotty, which literally means chicken and roti. The Chicken however is made in a thick coconut curry and the rotty is baked, made of rice.
Kori Rotty is a staple in Mangalorean homes and is made at our house for celebrations and more so during Christmas. This wonderful Chicken curry dish made in coconut milk, makes me feel like everything in the world is right, every time I eat it.
½ kg chicken (medium sized pieces)
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp salt
½ Medium sized onion cut into slices
1 – 1.5 tbsp of ghee
For the gravy:
Roast the following ingredients individually:
6 madras chillies
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp peppercorns
Grind the roasted ingredients with the following, into a smooth paste:
Half a medium sized grated coconut
1 medium sized onion
1 clove of garlic
½ tsp turmeric powder
10 gms tamarind
1. Pre-cook the chicken with salt and ghee.
2. Add the paste to the cooked chicken and stir.
3. Now add some water to make the gravy a little thin
4. Optional: You can add cut potatoes to this at this stage.
5. Cook this till the potatoes become soft (if you have added them) or bring it to a boil if using only chicken.
6. In another vessel take the 1.5 tbsp of ghee for tempering. Add sliced onion to this and fry till golden brown.
7. Add the cooked chicken curry to this vessel. The onion tempering brings out more of the flavours of the roasted ingredients in the curry.
8. Serve with Rice Rotty, Neer Dosa or Idlis.