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Mangalorean chicken curry or Kori Gassi is a chicken curry like no other. The signature dish of the folks hailing from the bunt community, this fiery red chicken curry combines the mild sweetness of coconut with a medley of spices to create a complexly flavored curry that is a treat to your senses.
Kori Gassi (kori = chicken, gassi = curry) is served with either rutti (rice wafers) or rice along with Kori ajadina(dry chicken dish) on the side.
Don’t let the long list of spices daunt you because today, you will learn a quicker and easier way to put together this flavorful curry together so that you can make it time and again without spending endless hours in the kitchen.
Most kids like to sleep in on Sundays but I was not one of them.
A foodie even back then, all I could think about as my head hit the pillow on Saturday nights were the delicacies that would be cooked the next day. Sundays were special because the day would start off with mom making these pillowy soft idlis for breakfast that were served with freshly tempered coconut chutney.
As soon as breakfast was done, I would quickly head out with my dad to get the free-range chicken (desi murg) from the market before it ran out. After all, mom was making our family favorite Kori Gassi, so all the ingredients had to be top-notch. (Note – As with any meat, this dish tastes far nicer when free-range chickens (desi murg) are used. Desi murg are specific breeds of free-range chicken native to India. If you’re cooking this dish in any other country, regular free-range chickens will be fine.)
While she waited for us to return with the chicken, my mother would start with stir-frying the onions in coconut oil on low heat. She would then proceed to gather the ingredients for the masala. One of the key ingredients of this chicken curry is byadgi chili, but if you cannot find them Kashmiri chili can serve as a substitute. Byadgi chili is what gives this curry its fiery red color.
By the time we got home, the onions would have caramelized and mom would have finished grinding the spices and the other ingredients to a fine paste. The masala would then be added to the onions along with some water and she would let the mixture come to a boil before adding the cleaned and cut chicken.
The pressure cooker was then closed and we would wait patiently for the vent or whistle to go off once. That’s all it took to cook the chicken, but it wouldn’t be ready yet. We had to wait some more before the pressure released and the kori gassi was ready to be consumed.
As soon as my mom would open up the pressure cooker, I would be ready with my plate filled with rutti waiting to savor the dish. If you don’t have rutti available, serve this curry with rice. Neer dosa or pundi (rice dumplings) also go well with this curry.
Here is the recipe of Kori Gassi from my kitchen to yours. Make it leisurely on a weekend and savor this dish at your own pace. If you haven’t made this dish before, give it a try – for all you know, waking up early on Sunday mornings might become your thing too.
- If you have been following my Mangalorean cuisine series, you may have heard me mention how most Mangaloreans make Kundapur masala powder once every few months and use it as a base masala for most Mangalorean dishes to save time. That is my preferred method of making Kori Gassi but for folks who want to make the masala from scratch, I have included those steps as well.
- This dish needs grated coconut. Loads of it. Ideally, using freshly grated coconut and homemade coconut milk is what this recipe calls for, but for time-pressed parents, using frozen grated coconut along with canned coconut milk can produce similar results.
Other Mangalorean recipes that may interest you
- Mangalorean Fish curry (Meen Gassi)
- Shrimp Ajadina (Dry shrimp/prawn Curry)
- Yeti Gassi (Shrimp curry)
- Bhuthai Gassi (Sardines in a Mangalorean gravy)
Kori Gassi (Mangalorean chicken curry)
- Grind all ingredients listed in the Masala section along with water (as needed) to a fine paste and set it aside.
- Heat oil in a cooker kept at medium heat. Once heated, add onions, garlic, and pepper seeds. When the onions turn translucent, add tomatoes and fry them till they are mushy.
- Add chicken and the ground masala from step 1 and mix well. Add water to get it to the consistency desired.
- Cover the cooker and put the vent on.
- Let the vent go off once and wait for the cooker to cool down before opening the lid.
- Serve hot with Rutti.
- Heat oil in a medium-sized pan and over medium heat.
- Add chilies to it and roast them till an aroma emanates from it. Remove the chilies and keep it aside.
- Roast remaining ingredients (coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper seeds, and fenugreek seeds) for a minute or till it turns aromatic. Set it aside to cool it down (for approximately 10 minutes)
- Transfer them to a blender along with the chilies and grind them to a fine powder. Store it in an airtight container for future use.
Disclaimer: Approximate nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.
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