This is another handy recipe for when you have more curds than you need for your daily consumption, and you are looking for ways to use it up. I have created a very easy-to-prepare chicken dish with very few spices (compared to what we usually use in Tamil Nadu for non-vegetarian cooking) and thick fresh curds.
In South India, January is the month when luscious tomatoes are available at a very low cost. Apart from making chutneys, jams, pickles, sauces, ketchups and soups, the tomatoes can be used in large quantities in a variety of dishes. I have created this Tomato Chicken Curry by combining elements from many other dishes that I liked but felt could be improved and as a dish that can be quickly and easily prepared in a typical Indian kitchen.
I call this recipe Kovilpatti Chicken Curry because the originator of this recipe is my aunt who was from Kovilpatti. My mother-in-law was in the habit of collecting recipes but never tried them out. When we were going through her papers after she passed away in 1981, I found a letter dated July 1974 from her sister-in-law (Janaki Srinivasagam – my aunt) giving a recipe for chicken curry and a tomato chutney. I put this letter in a folder to try at a later date but I rediscovered it only last year and decided to make it. To my great surprise and delight, this is a very delicious preparation and so very easy to make. It’s a pity it had to wait 40 years but I suppose good recipes never die. When I spoke to my cousins (my aunt is no more) they told me she was famed for her chicken curry in our family circle. I wish I had known her better; I would have loved to collect more recipes from her.
Doro Watt or Ethiopian Chicken by Sefanit Sirak-Kebede was featured in the People’s Cook Book – A Celebration of the Nation’s Life Through Food. I was fascinated by the introduction to the recipe and the steps involved in the preparation captured my imagination and interest. This recipe must have originated when communities sat around a common fire and cooked, designating various tasks to groups of women – just like one of my cookery labs 🙂 I could visualise a chattering group peeling and dicing a kilo of shallots with tears running down their faces from the vapours, another group plucking, skinning and jointing a chicken, and another carefully melting the butter with spices. This last one I omitted from the recipe as in India it will be sacrilegious to waste good spices and flavoured butter will not lend itself to other recipes. Continue reading
Sucharita Vasudevan was my student in the Department of Home Science, Women’s Christian College, from 1979–1982. We lost touch with each other after she graduated. She contacted me on Facebook in 2014, and she’s married and settled in Malaysia. Sucharita is a fabulous cook, I am proud to present one of her recipes. Continue reading