Naati Kozhi Saaru

Karnataka's Naati Kozhi Saaru with Ragi Mudde was quite a life changing discovery for me when I moved to Bangalore. This spicy Kannadiga chicken curry is traditionally made with 'naati kozhi' or country chicken, but broiler chicken works well too. The liberal use of cloves in combination with a rich green chilli and coriander paste, really makes this chicken curry taste like no other.

This curry is trafitionally eaten with Ragi Mudde which are ragi balls eaten throughout Karnataka and a staple for most farmers there too. I would highly suggest indulging in some Mudde to enjoy this curry at its best.

SERVES:
2

INGREDIENTS:

For the Saaru Masala:

1 tsp Peanut Oil
1 tsp Whole Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds/ Saunf
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
6 Cloves
1/2 inch Cinnamon Stick
1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 Whole Onion (chopped)
10 Green Chillies
1 inch Ginger (chopped)
10 cloves Garlic
1/2 cup Fresh Shredded/ Grated Coconut
1/4 cup Coriander Leaves (chopped)
1 tbsp Poppy Seeds
3/4 cup Water

General:

500 gms Chicken with Bone (Naati chicken/ Country chicken is preferred, but Broiler Chicken is also fine)
3 tbsp Peanut Oil
2 sprigs Curry Leaves
1 Whole Onion (sliced)
2 Whole Tomatoes (chopped)
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cup Water

METHOD:

(Wash your chicken and set it aside to let all the excess water drip away)

For the Saaru Masala:

In a pan on a low flame, add the peanut oil and roast the poppy seeds, pepper, fennel, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, fenugreek seeds, cumin, ginger and garlic until the spices are aromatic and the garlic has turned brown. Set the roasted spices aside to cool.

In the same pan, add chopped onions and green chillies. Saute on a medium to low flame until the onions begin to soften.

Once the onions turn transluscent and soften, add the coconut and coriander leaves. Stir on a low flame until the leaves wilt, then take off heat.

Grind all the above ingredients in a mixie with water to a fine, smooth paste.


For the Naati Kozhi Saaru:

In a pressure cooker on a medium flame, add the peanut oil.

Once warm, add in the curry leaves, onion and tomatoes. Saute until the tomatoes have softened and onions begin to turn transluscent.

Add the chicken in with the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Toss well to coat all of the chicken with the masala and roast for 5-7 minutes.

Once the chicken begins to partially cook, add in the Saaru Masala we made earlier along with the water. You can add more water at this stage if needed.

Cover the pressure cooker, ignoring the number of whistles, cook the curry on the lowest flame for 30 minutes. Ensure there is enough water in the cooker so the curry doesn't burn.

Once your 30 minutes are done, turn off the heat and allow the cooker to rest and pressure to release on its own.

Once you open the cooker, stir well and serve steaming hot with some fresh coriander leaves to garnish!

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