Minty Chicken Strips

Although this recipe calls for strips of boneless chicken breasts, you can substitute bone-in pieces or turkey pieces, but the cooking times will change. The recipes for the two spice mixtures used herein are found in separate entries.

This recipe comes from Raghavan Iyer’s book, 660 Curries, pages 155-156.

½ cup Hara (green) masala

¼ cup plain yogurt, whisked

1½ tsp coarse kosher or sea salt

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch-wide strips

4 tbsp canola oil

1 large red onion, finely chopped

1 large tomato, cored and finely chopped

2 tsp Usha Raikar’s garam masala

¼ tsp ground turmeric

½ cup shredded fresh coconut or ¼ cup shredded dried unsweetened coconut, reconstituted

  1. Combine the Hara masala, yogurt and salt in a medium-size bowl. Add the chicken strips and toss to coat them well. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours, to allow the flavors to permeate the meat. (You can marinate overnight, but leave out the salt. Add the salt under such circumstances immediately before cooking the chicken.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the onion and stir-fry until it is light-brown around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato, garam masala and turmeric. Stew, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the tomato softens and the mixture appears sauce-like but still chunky, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken, marinade and all, and cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is no longer pink inside, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. While the chicken is simmering, heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining onions and stir-fry until it is light brown around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Pour in ½ cup water and scrape the skillet to deglaze it, releasing the browned bits of onion and coconut. Transfer this mixture to a blender and puree, scraping the inside of the jar as needed, to form a slightly gritty paste.
  5. Add the paste to the cooked chicken, stir once or twice, and serve.                                                                                                                                                                                     Note: To reconstitute coconut, cover with ¼ cup boiling water, set aside for about 15 minutes, and then drain.

Serves 6.

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