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Recipe for :

Mrs Kalgutkar’s Chicken Curry

This recipe comes from Ria Patel. Ria lives in Bangalore, India. She has no formal training in cooking but has learnt mostly from watching her mother cooking at home.

Her father was a Parsi (Zoroastrian), her mother is half Bengali (from Bengal) and half Malayali (from Kerala) and her husband is from Kerala. This interesting mix in her family has led to her becoming familiar with various cuisines from India - each region of India has its own special cuisine, and its own choice of spices and flavors.

Ria has worked in publishing mostly and cooking remains a strong hobby. Mostly, she cooks because she enjoys it and loves to have friends over to try out new dishes. Her favourite dishes to cook are curries of all kinds - mutton curry, fish curry, chicken curry and shrimp curry. She also loves Biryani which is basically any meat or vegetable cooked in spices and layered with rice. She has a collection of recipes from friends and family, some of which have being passed down through the generations, and she looks forward to sharing them.

"A friend of mine in Bombay, Jennifer Mirza, shared some great recipes with me. She says she hates to cook herself, but because she finds she has to, she has a collection of great recipes. Mrs Kalgutkar is her sister's mother-in-law, and her chicken recipe is a classic and still made at a restaurant in Bombay. Mrs Kalgutkar, however, passed away many years ago. I have made this a number of times, and substitute the freshly squeezed coconut milk with canned coconut milk. The difference is that if you cook with canned coconut milk, add the ground garam masala once the chicken browns and let it cook 5 - 8 minutes before you add the coconut milk".


1 large chicken, skinned and cut into large pieces
3 onions, chopped fine
2 tablespoons oil

Grind to a paste the following marinade:
10 green chillies
1 inch ginger
8 flakes of garlic
Half a bunch of coriander leaves
salt to taste

Broil / Roast and grind the following garam masala:
8 cloves
4 green cardamoms
15 peppers corns
2 inch piece of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon black cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/5 of a nutmeg, grated or a pinch of ground nutmeg (ground Allspice works fine too)

For the coconut milk:
1 coconut
3 cups of warm water


2 cans cocnut milk

  • To prepare the coconut milk grate the coconut. Add 1 cup of warm water and squeeze out the thick milk To this thick milk add the ground garam masala. Then add 2 cups of warm water to the grated and strained coconut, and squeeze out the thin milk.
  • Canned coconut milk works fine, in which case, don't worry about the thick and thin. Use 2 cans.
  • Wash the chicken and apply marinade and keep for at least 1 hour.
  • In a large saucepan, heat the oil, fry the onions until golden brown.
  • Then put in the chicken pieces a few at a time, and brown them well.
  • Then add the 2 cups of thin milk, cover the pot and let the chicken cook.
  • Lastly add the thick milk and put off the gas just before the curry comes to the boil.
  • Garnish with green coriander leaves, cashew nuts.
  • Serve with white rice and pappadams

Serves 4

Ria Patel