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SUBMITTED BY Nancy Josland Dalsin

Kadipatte Chi Murghi (Fiery Game Hens with Scallions) 

from “The Gateway To Indian Cooking 660 Curries” by Raghavan Iyer 

1/2 cup plain yogurt

6 fresh green Thai, cayenne, or serrano chiles, stems removed

6 medium-size cloves garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt

2 Cornish game hens (about 1 1/2 pounds each), skin removed, cut in half lengthwise

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds

1 can 14.5 ounces, diced tomatoes

1/4 cup loosely packed medium size to large fresh curry leaves

1 cup finely chopped scallions (green tops and white bulbs)

2 teaspoons Maharashtrian garam masala 

1. Combine the yogurt, chiles, garlic and salt in a blender jar; Puree, scraping the inside of the jar as needed to make a smooth, green speckled, tart-hot marinade. 

2. Place the hens in a baking dish and pour the marinade over them, turning the pieces in the marinade to thoroughly coat them. Refrigerate, covered, for at leeast 30 minutes or up to 6 hours, to allow the flavors to permeate the meat. 

3. Heat the oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds, cover the skillet, and cook until the seeds have stopped popping (not unlike popcorn), about 30 seconds. Then add the hen halves, meat side down, marinade and all (although there won’t be that much residual marinade), in a single layer. Lower the heat to medium, and cover the pan as the hens’ juices will make the oil sputter. Cook until the hens have turned caramel-brown on the underside, about 5 minutes. Turn the pieces over and brown on the other side, about 5 minutes. 

4. Add the tomatoes, with their juices and spread the curry leaves over the hens. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the skillet, and stew the hens, basting them occasionally with the sauce and turning the pieces every few minutes to ensure even cooking, until the meat in the thickest parts is no longer pink inside and the juices run clear, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the hen pieces and arrange them on a serving platter. 

5. Stir the scallions and garam masala into the sauce, and raise the heat to medium. Simmer the sauce vigorously, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the curry is gravy-thick, albeit chunky, 5 minutes. 

6. Pour the festive-looking sauce over the hens and serve. 

* I used chicken pieces for this recipe

* if unable to find fresh curry leaves, you can used dried curry leaves or substitute with 3 or 4 fresh or dried Bay leaves (it will give a different flavor then the curry leaves though)

 

 

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