Month of September: “660 Curries” Recipe: Coconut Chicken with Potatoes (Batata Murghi)

“Hark to a voice that is calling, to my heart in the voice of the mind.” Sarojini Naidu

This quote strikes deep. I hear a voice calling to my heart. It is faint, it is distant, but it is absolutely present.It is calling me but for what? This answer is not yet clear. I don’t fully understand why Abby’s death has shattered my reality this deeply. Yes, we were sisters. Yes, we were connected. Yes, we knew each other’s secrets. Yes we shared our emotional life. But it’s more intricate than even all that. I have love in my life. I am not alone. Yet this grief work is so incredibly lonely subsequently causing me to examine everything and everyone. And, adding another complicated painful layer to this stew, I am caring for an ailing parent. I am tired inside. Tired of losing people. Tired of sadness, tired of being thrown off course and being forced to recalculate my route. I feel that this grief has been present with me for eons and suddenly, after finally doing the real hard nitty gritty work of not only recognizing and accessing my feelings but experiencing them, I am much more aware of that voice of heart, the one I can “hear breathing on a quiet day”, calling me to a place I have never been, a distant but approaching shore to a life where I can begin to live life on my own terms.

Ingredients: 1 can unsweetened coconut milk, 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped ginger, 2 tablespoons unsalted dry roasted peanuts, 1.5 teaspoons sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 5 large cloves of garlic, 4 to 6 green thai or other kind of chili (I used one), 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds from green or white pods, 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 chicken (about 3.5 lbs skin removed and cut into 8 pieces), 2 medium size potatoes such as russet or yukon gold cut into 1 inch cubes, 2 tablespoons of ghee, 1 medium red onion, cut in lengthwise and thinly slices, 2 tablespoons cilantro, 12 to 15 curry leaves.

1.Pour 1/2 coconut milk into a food processor along with ginger, peanuts, salt, turmeric, garlic and chilis and blend.

2. Preheat a small skillet over med high heat. Add the coriander, cardamom, and cinnamon and toast for about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate to cool and then grind. Fold these spices in with the paste above to make a marinade. Place the chicken pieces in a baking dish or plastic bag and coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.

3. Make sure potatoes are dry. Heat ghee in non reactive skillet or Dutch oven and fry the potatoes until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon drain and set aside.

4.In the same pan, cook the onions until edges are brown, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the onions to the potatoes.

5.Arrange the chicken in the skillet and cook about 3 to 5 minutes on each side to brown. Add the potatoes, onions, remaining coconut milk, reserved marinade and simmer turning occasionally and basting for about 20 minutes or more depending on thickness of chicken until the thickest parts are no longer pink and juices run clear.

Arrange on a serving platter and skin off any excess oil that may be floating on surface. Ladle the sauce over the chicken and vegetables and enjoy eating it as much as you enjoy smelling it as it cooks!

One Reply to “Month of September: “660 Curries” Recipe: Coconut Chicken with Potatoes (Batata Murghi)”

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