Jul 17

Cochin Coriander-Cumin Chicken

Cochin Coriander Cumin Chicken17




Woooooow!! This dish ROCKS! If you like spice and Indian flavours, then this recipe has your name written all over it.

I have never been any good at making Indian dishes coz they are very intricate and requires a sound knowledge of spices. The furthest I have gone was to make a curry using Patak’s curry blends from a jar. But I totally stumbled onto this one while flicking through the New York Times food section, and boy am I glad I emailed myself  a copy.


This recipe uses no less than NINE different spices, and now my house smells deee-vineeeee! I hope the neighbours are envious, haaa! The last time I put on an Indian spread at home was many many years ago. I don’t remember exactly how I pulled that off, but if I were to do it again I would feature this recipe as the star of the table. Personally, I don’t think the name does this dish justice. It shouldn’t be called ‘ … coriander-cumin chicken’ as this falsely implies this chicken dish is made up of nothing more than two spices + chicken, when in actual fact no less than NINE different spices go into this.



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I read through the list and it seemed endless … but so worth it. Fortunately I had everything I needed in the pantry and I got to work immediately. But first I had to find it all. I have never used this many spices all at one time before, so I kinda misplaced a few things.





Ingredients: (adapted from the recipe published by Joan Nathan for the New York Times)

  • Seeds from 4 cardamom pods or 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 5 to 6 cloves or 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 5 to 6 peppercorns or 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds or 3 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 1-to-2-inch cinnamon stick, broken into pieces, or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds or 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 large onions, cut into large chunks
  • 3 pounds (9 to 12) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped, or 1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 4 to 5 curry leaves (available in Indian or spice markets)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 to 3 (or to taste) serrano or other small fresh green chiles, stemmed, seeded and minced





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If using whole spices, heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cinnamon stick, anise seeds and cumin seeds; stir until the seeds start to pop, about 3 minutes. Grind them in a small blender, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle along with the nutmeg, turmeric and salt. If using ground spices, simply mix them all together in a small bowl. Rub the mixture into the chicken, transfer to a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onions and sauté until golden. Add the chicken and sauté for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, curry leaves, vinegar and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until the chicken is soft and cooked through, about 20 minutes.
In a food processor, blend the ginger, garlic, cilantro, mint and 2 of the chiles. Taste and add more chiles if desired. Stir into the chicken and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve over rice, if desired.
-6 to 8 servings




Personal Changes:

– Along with the spices, I marinaded the chicken with chopped garlic, coriander and grated ginger.

– I sauteed onions, with more ginger and garlic in a pot before adding the chicken pieces. Added the tomatoes, water and one lamb flavoured bouillon cube (instead of salt). I skipped step 3 altogether.

– Once the chicken pieces had simmered enough, I removed them and set them aside on a plate. Then I used a stick blender to puree all the chunks of tomato, curry leaves and onion in the pot. Simmer more until the gravy reduces and turns darker. Return the chicken to the pot later.

– Instead of using vinegar and mint leaves, I used 2 tsps of Colman’s Classic mint sauce coz it already has an intense mint flavour with a slight vinegary taste.




I am fairly confident that this will taste even better tomorrow after a good few hours chilling out in the fridge. Serve with naan bread, Indian flat breads or on basmati rice. This is hands down the best proper Indian curry I have made, ever. Didn’t think I had it in me to make one a success. Hooray me!




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Well that’s it from me today. I urge you to try this curry out … you won’t regret it.



~ Enjoy ~






Permanent link to this article: http://foodflurries.com/savoury/cochin-coriander-cumin-chicken

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