Friday, 19 March 2010

Chicken kuzhambu / Kozhi kuzhambu / Kodi pulusu

Cow meat is called as beef, pig meat is called as pork, goat meat is called as chevon and can you tell me what chicken meat is called as ? Chicken meat especially country chicken (naatu kozhi) meat is considered healthy when compared to red meat. There must be thousands of ways to cook chicken. Almost all parts of chicken are eaten including it's feet. Ofcourse chicken meat is delicious. When I am young my ayyama (my dad's mom) would come to visit us. When she comes, she  will bring with her a wonderful chicken kuzhambu. She reared chicken at home. So when visiting her son and grand children she will catch one of the veda kozhi ( a hen ready to lay egg), sacrifice the veda kozhi ( I don't want to use the word kill, I do feel guilty ) and make wonderful gravy out of it for us to eat. I still remember seeing small, small eggs in that kuzhambu (taken from the oviduct perhaps!!!). Unfortunately I don't remember the taste. She left us when we were young and my dad used to talk about his mom's cooking talents most of the time. I always would think, if ayyama would be alive I would have learned cooking from her. My dad used to say her cooking is very simple, with minimum ingredients, yet very tasty. To appreciate my cooking sometimes my dad would say '' you are gifted with my moms cooking talent'' .

Ok coming back to the chicken kuzhambu, this chicken kuzhambu I learned from my mom's mom. When I am studying 8th class my grandma came live with us for few months. She is also a good cook. One day on my mom's request she made this chicken kuzhambu. I remember standing beside her and helping her with obtaining all the necessary ingredients. So I still remember everything very well. Of all the different chicken gravy I make, this is my most favourite.

Ingredients :

Chicken- 1/2 kg
Curd- 2 tbspn
A pinch of turmeric
Onions- 2 nos
Green chillies- 4 nos
Ginger- an inch sized piece
Potato- 2 nos (optional)
Chilli powder - according to your taste

For frying and grinding:

Coriander seeds- 3 tbspns
Fennel seeds- 1 tspn
Cardamom seeds- 4 nos
Cinnamon- an inch piece
Cloves- 5 nos
Pepper corns- 6 nos
Coconut (scrapped)- 5 tbspns

For tempering :

Cardamom- 3 nos
Cloves-4 nos
Cinnamon- 1/2 inch piece
Curry leaves

Method :

Cut and clean chicken. Trim off the visible fat. But if you are young and healthy a few pieces of fat is not really bad for you. Fat is the taste providing ingredient in any item. After cleaning the chicken marinate in 2 tbspn of curd (yogurt) with a pinch of turmeric. Now take the items for frying. Heat a pan and fry all the items. Add the coconut scrappings at the end after you get a nice aroma of all the spices. Take care not to burn the coconut scrappings. Turn off the stove when the coconut scrappings turn brown. When you fry the coconut a mind-blowing aroma arises . Cool the fried items and with a mixer-grinder grind them into a paste with little water. Then cut onions and green chillies into small pieces. Crush the ginger piece. I love potatoes cooked along with chicken or goat meat. If you like it you can also add 2 potatoes (cleaned and cut into big pieces). Now take the pressure cooker. Heat it, add enough oil for tempering, When the oil gets heated add the items mentioned in the tempering section, saute for a minute and then add onions, green chillies, curry leaves, crushed ginger piece and enough salt. Saute well until the onions turn translucent. Then add the cut potatoes to it and mix. Now wash the marinated chicken in water to remove yoghurt (actually marinating in yoghurt makes the chicken meat tender). Do the above step atleast 10 minutes before so that the excess water from the chicken meat is drained out.  Then add the chicken pieces into the sauteed ingredients. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes. Do not add water. The chicken oozes water from its meat and gets cooked in it. When the chicken meat turns white in colour add the ground ingredients, chilli powder and enough water. Close the cooker and pressure cook for 2 minutes (if it is broiler chicken 2 minute time is enough, if it is country chicken you can leave for a whistle or two, since the naatu kozhi meat takes longer time to cook). Do not pressure cook the chicken more than the  time mentioned above. If you overcook the chicken all the taste will be lost. Then open the pressure cooker adjust salt and chilli level and simmer the whole mixture until the oil seperates out.

Taste enhancing tips for this recipe: Add fat pieces when making kuzhambu if you do not have any health issues. Beleive me you will be safe. Add more curry leaves, it enhances the flavour. Take care when frying the coconut. Do not allow it to burn. Non-vegetarian items should not be bland. Add enough chilli powder. More hot it is, better it tastes. Use red onions. Do not add water before the chicken gets cooked partly in oil. First saute the chicken well in oil and then when the flesh turns white add ground masala and enough water. Salt must be added along with chicken pieces or before that step. This helps the salt to enter the chicken pieces well. Add potatoes, you will love the taste of potato soaked in chicken gravy. If you are not sure about the time you can totally omit the pressure cooking part and cook normally. But pressure cooking for a short period makes the chicken a bit tender and tasty. Happy cooking!!!


  1. u r receipes are nice , i suggest that u post the picture of the finished dish clearly , close shot, that it gives us more clarity.hope u dont mind.

  2. Thanks a lot for the suggestion. My recent recipes have a close up shot of the dish. I will try to include in all my posts. Thanks :)