Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Chicken Curry, the Dimasa Way

There are some dishes that remain forever fresh and appealing. We all love to try out new tastes and new ingredients but we all come back to comfort food. For us Dimasas, one of our all-time favourite dishes/comfort food is this chicken curry cooked with a few spices, and thickened with rice flour. Called Douno-hain hon, the literal translation is "chicken cooked with rice flour". With our staple being rice, the cereal in powder or paste form is used as a thickening agent in our curries.

Douno-hain hon/Chicken curry thickened with rice flour


Chicken with skin     800grams

Onions                     3-4 medium

Ginger                      a one-inch piece

Garlic                       a quarter teaspoon

Green chillies            10-12

Turmeric                   nearly half a teaspoon 

Mustard oil                about 3 tablespoons

Salt to taste

Rice flour                 3 tablespoons

Ginger leaves            half a dozen


  • Singe the chicken over the flame on all sides till evenly browned. This imparts a faint smoky smell and burns up some of the downy feathers that remain. Then cut it into regular pieces ( the way the pieces are generally used in curry). 
  • Rub salt and turmeric on the chicken pieces and keep aside.
  • Peel and grate the onions.
  • Wash and slit the green chillies. We don't discard the seeds as we love the heat.
  • Peel the ginger and grind it in a mortar and pestle. The paste need not be fine.
  • Peel the garlic (about 10 cloves) and make into a paste.
  • Heat the oil in a karhai. When it comes to smoking point, add the onions and fry for a few minutes. Add the chillies.
  • Then add the chicken pieces and the ginger/garlic pastes. Keep on frying till the oil separates. This will take about 25 minutes or so depending on the temperature of the flame you're working on.
  • Add about 4 cups of water. In curries that use a thickening agent the gravy should actually make you feel...did I make it too watery? It'll thicken once the flour is added. Keep it covered as it cooks....
  • Check to see if the meat is tender. Then make a paste of the rice flour by adding a little bit of water. This makes it easier to pour into the curry as you keep stirring making sure there are no lumps. Once the flour is added, the dish needs to be removed from the fire.
  • Wash and tear the ginger leaves and garnish.
This curry goes best with steaming hot rice. The use of spices like cumin and coriander is optional. The taste is best with these few spices that I've written about. The addition of red chilli powder makes the colour of the dish more attractive but again, that is also optional. Whenever I see shoots about to sprout from ginger that I get from the market, I promptly plant them in pots and this all important ingredient as a garnish is taken care of. Coriander leaves and serrated coriander can also be used. But we've always used ginger leaves, and for me, the dish would be incomplete without the subtle flavour that comes from the leaves as we dig into the chicken.
A little thick here, but gravy isn't photogenic:)  
Thank you for taking the time to stop by today. Happy Holi!

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