One of the things I really like to do is get an ingredient that I have never tasted and never prepared before,bingo this recipe has one “drumstick“…. that’s right I said drumstick, or to give it its correct name…..Sahjan Ki Phalli this being a core ingredient and most poplar vegetable in southern india cuisine and is often found in sambhar. Sahjan is in fact the immature long green pods of the Moringa tree another species that you will not find throughout Europe, you can also eat the flowers and leaves of this tree so a vital ingredient and crop to the food of the villages I suspect In this particular case we are using it in…..
I am so lucky to have a large Asian community in the city I live in and even more lucky to be able to access the raw ingredients that appear so unusual and are really at the end of the day just fruit and veg that is yet to reach the supermarkets that determine what we all eat … that being an argument for another day.
so a visit to the Indian supermarket was the order of the day and yes success they of course had it although it doesn’t come cheap but why should it it has come halfway round the world and everyone involved needs to get paid … ouch my food miles are totting up I can always plant yet another tree though that seems to do the trick and salve the conscience….
The following recipe is easy enough although there are a lot of ingredients and I didn’t use a whole chicken I just used the crown as it was only for two….
this recipe is for four persons
The Whats in it
2 bay leaves
3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
1 tsp Kalonj(Nigella)Seeds
3 onions Sliced
1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric
1/2 tsp Ginger paste
1/2 tsp Garlic paste
1 tblsp Ground coriander roasted
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 large chicken cut into chunks on the bone
1 small tomato
1 tablespoon ideally fresh coconut but soaked desiccated will do!
2 tsp chopped red chilli
15 Curry leaves
4 tablespoons of Toddy, beer will do if you can’t get Toddy
6 drumsticks (Sahjan Ki Phalli) peeled and cut into 6 cm pieces
12-15 black peppercorns
250ml Tamarind extract
1 Tablespoon Gram Flour….
1 Pint of water or chicken stock
6 green chillies
1 Bunch coriander
6 sprigs Mint….
The How to
Heat the ghee in a karahi or large frying pan over a medium heat, add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves and fenugreek and kalonji seeds and stir fry for about 1 minute.
Then add the onions and stir fry for about until golden brown frying for ten to fifteen minutes usually does the trick.
Add the turmeric, ginger and garlic pastes, and stir fry for a couple of minutes more, before adding the ground coriander and sesame seeds and giving it all a good stir.
When the oil rises to the surface, add the chicken and continue to stir fry until it releases its juices, then continue to fry for about 8-10 minutes, or until the liquids have evaporated and the chicken is brown.
Add the tomatoes, coconut, red chilli and curry leaves and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the toddy or beer and cook for a few minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
now you can add the drumsticks, black peppercorns, 750 ml/1.25 pints (3.25 cups) water or chicken stock and the tamarind extract. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken and drumsticks are cooked.
Dry roast the gram flour on a tawa, or griddle or in a small frying pan (skillet) for about 1 minute to remove the raw smell, then transfer to a bowl. Add 250 ml/8 fl oz (1 cup) water and mix well. Add to the curry to thicken the sauce, then mix well and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Add more water if it is too thick. Garnish with green chillies, coriander and mint leaves.