Chicken Curry 

Little India Seaport Farmers’ Market

click to enlarge LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

Chicken Curry

Little India
Seaport Farmers’ Market, 1209 Marginal Road (Saturdays and Sundays), Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market, 2901 Windsor Street (Saturdays)

Elakkia Priya Sakthikumar is very used to people asking her for her recipes. The owner of popular farmers’ market stall Little India says she gets requests every weekend. “People ask me, ‘How do you make curry? How do you make this sauce?’” Inspired by her own hankering for south Indian food, Sakthikumar started the takeout eatery in late 2016 and has been serving a small selection of dishes at the markets since. “When I thought of opening a small business, I thought there are many students from India,” she says. “And many students are missing their home very badly—even I was. I was craving for it!” Her cravings for homey dishes like sambar, a lentil curry, led her to experimenting in her own kitchen. That’s where she came up with the recipe for this dish, a winner thanks to its always fresh ingredients and aromatic spices, like fennel. “This is the simple way I cook at my own place,” says Sakthikumar. “This is what I make for myself for my own dinner.”

500 g chicken, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
4 cardamom
4 cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 onions, finely chopped
3 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 handful of curry leaves
1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp garam masala
1 cup coconut
salt to taste
cilantro to garnish

Heat oil in a pan on medium flame. Add cinnamon, bay leaf, cardamom and cumin seeds.

Mix in onions and curry leaves and fry until onions turn into light golden colour. Add ginger garlic paste and fry for one minute.

Now add tomatoes and cook until oil separates. Add turmeric, chilli, coriander, Garam masala and chicken pieces into the pan, add salt and mix well. Let it cook for 5 minutes, stir occasionally.

Add ¾ cup of water, cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes. Once chicken is cooked lower the flame.

Grind the coconut, fennel seeds and pepper into fine paste. Add the ground paste and simmer for 10 minutes.

Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve with white rice or naan bread.

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