Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Puli Chicken Curry- Not for the Faint at Heart!

The weekend before last, we had been, yet again, to my brother's place. They took us to this event called Pig Out at the Park. You know, a food fair of sorts with a good number of food stalls and as the name suggests- you basically pig out! One of the stalls there had this thing called "Huli-Huli Chicken." No, I did not eat it and I sure am glad I didn't because I later found out that Huli-Huli sauce is this Hawaiian sauce made with brown sugar and ginger- sort of like a mix of teriyaki and barbeque sauce, both of which I am not fond of. Hey, gimme some heat and spice, not brown sugar!

So a few days ago, I made this amazing chicken curry and I called it "Puli Chicken Curry," taking cue from that Huli-Huli chicken. "Puli" in Telugu means tiger. Ferocious, strong and majestic--- a tiger, sure, but so was my chicken curry! I used habanero in the curry base and it was quite ferocious, in a good way, of course.


1. P.S.: Pretty much the same onion+ginger+garlic+tomato base that I use for North-Indian curries, but with a couple extra additions- namely cilantro and habanero.

I would have added one entire habanero to this, but I cut that to just 1/2 a habanero because of the kids. So, you can see the ingredients in the picture below:

The "Puli" masala base
That orange habanero in the right corner looks small- but believe me, it was HOT! And like I said earlier, I would have liked to use one entire habanero, but then it would have been torture for my poor kids. And I do love my kids, you know!

2. Some boneless skinless chicken thighs (I usually buy it at Costco), roughly cut up into bite sized pieces and marinated in lemon juice, salt, turmeric powder and just a pinch of red chilli powder.

Chicken marinating
I put the chicken away in the fridge and let it all hang out to get the flavors going.


1. I took the masala/curry ingredients and put them in my nifty food processor and made a nice chutney as you can see below:

Chutney with Habanero!
2. Once that was done, I took my very faithful pot and put in some oil, got the heat going and then spluttered some cumin seeds and a couple cardamom pods. Into this I added the marinated chicken and cooked it for 10 minutes.

3. I then folded in that awesome habanero-cilantro chutney into this chicken. Mixed it so as to coat all the chicken pieces with the beautiful chutney. Added some salt and brought it to a boil and then covered the pot and simmered for 20 minutes.

4. When the timer went off, my Puli Chicken curry was ready- ROAR! Yes, that was very cheesy indeed, but I had to say that- just to emphasize on the fact that the habanero totally kicked this dish up by quite a few good notches!

Puli Chicken Curry
I served this ferocious chicken curry with plain basmati. Oh, that heat from the habanero and the fragrant cilantro with the lemony undertone (remember, I marinated the chicken in lemon juice) was simply outstanding. Ferociously delicious!

I am glad I passed that Huli-Huli chicken stall at Pig Out at the Park that day. That's how my chicken curry with habanero got its name! :)


spartan said...

Ha Ha ...if you had not explained it, I would have thought Huli was the kannada word and Puli the Tamil word for tamarind

Dreamer said...

Heh heh! Ya- too many _ULIs-- well, glad I explained! ;) Though, funnily huli also supposedly means sour in Kannada-- I think! (So much for my language expertise!)