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Kerala Style Fennel and Anise Spiced Chicken

3/4 kilo chicken, cut into bite sized pieces (I use chicken thighs, bone in)

For the Spice Mix

5 long mild red chillies
1/2 tbsp whole coriander seeds
1/2 tbsp whole fennel seeds
2 inch stick of cinnamon
4 - 5 whole cloves
1 star anise
3 - 4 green cardamom pods
1/2 tsp poppy seeds
1/4 whole nutmeg, grated

For the rest of the dish:

1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ghee (optional, replace with oil, if you wish)
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
3 flakes garlic, grated
10 - 15 curry leaves
Salt to taste
Handful fresh coriander, chopped


Make the spice mix - toss together all the whole spices, except the nutmeg, in a hot and heavy pan, stirring continuously for about 1 minute. The spices will start turning golden, and will smell delicious.

Place the toasted spices, along with the grated nutmeg in a heavy duty spice grinder or a coffee grinder, and powder to a fine powder. Keep aside.

Heat the oil + ghee in a pot on a medium heat, then add the curry leaves. Stir together for a minute, then add the ginger and garlic. Stir for another 30 seconds, then add the prepared spice mix. Fry together for about 3 minutes. This mixture will be very dry.

Turn the heat to low, then add the chicken and salt to taste. I use around 1 tsp. Stir together to coat the chicken with the masala. Then cover the pot and simmer on a low heat for about 20 - 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Don't add any water, as the chicken will release water as it cooks. If you want the chick drier, then once the chicken is cooked, turn up the heat and reduce the gravy down a bit. The chicken does taste better with gravy though.

As with most Indian food, this dish will taste much better the next day, once the meat has had a chance to absorb the spices. The spices also mellow out quite a bit.

*Note: Make sure that the pan is on low heat when you add the chicken, as you don't want to seal the chicken, and want the juices released to make a aromatic, spicy gravy for the dish.

**Note: You can make a larger quantity of the spice mix, and it will keep quite well in an airtight tin, and in a cool, darkish place.

Recipe from: http://foodfootballandababy.blogspot.com/
Author: Michelle Peters - Jones
Please do not plagiarise