Chicken Kalia, is a chicken curry from Mauritius that is prepared with yoghurt and lots of spices.Don’t hold back on the spices, even if some some of the quantities might seem rather a lot.
How and when is it served?
The dish is not specific to any event; it is cooked at any time and served in various ways. This dish is best served with plain white rice or cumin rice or parathas. You can accompany it with mixed salads, pickles, chatini or chilli. You can also serve it with chapatis and baby new potatoes.
What is Unique about Chicken Kalia?
This is one of the best ‘curries’ you will have the chance to taste on the island of Mauritius! With its creamy and spicy but not too hot taste , you will definitely be conquered.
– 3 Medium potatoes (peeled and quartered)
– 2 big Onions, sliced in discs
– 1 big Onion, grounded into a paste
– 2 tsps Ginger and Garlic paste
– 1/2 bunch Mint leaves, chopped
– 1 bunch fresh cilantro (coriander), chopped
– 3-4 Tbsp Sundaram Epices pour Briani
– 1 cup Plain Yoghurt
– Green Peas, frozen or canned
– 1 cup Oil for frying
– 2 tsp melted Ghee
– 2 Green Chillies (optional)
– 3-4 Saffron strands
– 2 cups Water
Infuse the saffron strands in 3 Tbsp of hot water and keep.
Season the potato quarters with salt and half the saffron infusion (for coloring) and deep-fry in hot oil for 5-10 mins (They have to be half-cooked). In the same oil, fry the sliced onions till golden brown and reserve.
In a large stockpot, mix all the following ingredients together: the chicken pieces, Sundaram Epices pour Briani, fried potato quarters, yoghurt, mint and coriander, ginger & garlic paste, ground onion paste, ghee, saffron, 2 cups of water and the chillies (optional). Mix carefully and season. Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Cook on high heat until you begin to see bubbles break through the surface.
Turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 30 mins until you obtain a rich gravy. The potatoes should be soft and squishy.
Serve hot with plain basmati rice and tomato salad (Chatini pomme d’amour).
This is one of the dishes that guests are offered as part of a multi-course Creole lunch and it remains one of the most popular on the island. It’s a traditional Creole chicken curry – a meal you’re likely to find on many Mauritian tables. The dish is usually served during some cultural festivals and during Hindu wedding ceremonies.
What makes it unique?
The traditional blend of home crushed spices is the secret behind the uniqueness of this dish. It revives your taste buds with different savours and textures which might have been unknown to you until this very moment you tasted the dish.
How to accompany the dish?
In Mauritius, this kind of curry is traditionally served with rice, lentils and vegetable pickles (atchar or achard). Yet, the dish can be accompanied with many other local specialities such as the Dholl puree, roti, farata, bread or rice. It is traditionally served with a mixed salad of lettuce, cucumber, carrots and watercress. In some Mauritian families they also like to have some lentils soup as side dish to the chicken curry. As drink, you can enjoy a fruity rosé to accompany this dish.
The Main Ingredient of the Dish: Curry powder
If you can’t get your hands on Creole curry powder (in case you haven’t been to Mauritius in a while) you can use a mild curry powder, or make your own using a mixture of turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilli powder, cinnamon powder, ground cumin, ground fenugreek and ground cardamom.
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
5 chicken curry leaves
1 small onion, slices
Salt to taste
2 large potatoes, cut into quarters
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
1/2 tablespoon ginger paste and garlic paste
1 cup finely chopped coriander leaves
1 cup fined chopped spring onions
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoon curry powder
3 tablespoon oil
Cut the chicken into equal bits and wash carefully.
Heat the dish you will use to prepare the curry with one tablespoon of oil and add the chicken.
Leave to cook for 3-5 minutes, remove and put aside.
In the same dish heat 2 tablespoon of oil.
Add sliced onion, thyme, curry leaves and stir fry for 2 minutes.
Add the curry powder in the dish and add some water to form a paste.
Add the ginger and garlic paste and some water, cover and simmer for 5 minutes
Put the chicken and potatoes in the dish, stir well, cover and cook until half done
Add the chopped tomatoes,salt and some water if required
Cover and cook until the chicken, potatoes and tomatoes are completely done (Check at various intervals)
Once the chicken is done, check for the consistency, turn off the heat and garnish with coriander leaves and spring onion
If you wish during the second step you can add some Prawns to add up some more taste to the dish!
Well if you are not really into cooking and if you are lucky enough to be in Mauritius, you can taste them at one of the hotels in Mauritius such as Villa Caroline in Flic-En-Flac or at one of the stunning Chateau in Mauritius- Le Chateau Labourdonnais.