Chicken Sukka..Ma's style

What is food to you? Why do you take photographs?  What drew you towards blogging? These are a few things people are always curious about when talking to me.. I am sure all you food lovers out there must have faced the same question..These and "will you quit your job?"

Here are the answers....
Food is memories...From the moment we start identifying objects and developing basic taste, we have memories of it...our lives revolve around memories..good and bad (although I try not to dwell on the bad)
Some memories invoke in us feelings much deeper than we wish to..some barely touch us...
Some memories have the power to enable us ... some we can hardly recall..
Some memories make us happy,.. without any thought... or doubt... Just happy..

Food has that kind of power over me.. call me crazy or starved or mad or bonkers...but food is memories to me...
Memory of early winter morning Alu Parathas savoured before going to school ..
Of cool rainy evenings spent with my mom over a cup of ginger tea.. of college days (n nights) lived happily sharing a cup of noodles made in an electric kettle with friends...of that first home cooked meal you made with your love...of amazing new places added to your tour book....

And I take photographs....for so many reasons...
Lets just say "In a world and life that moves fast, photography makes me stop and take a really see calms me...and that is no mean feat :P
Coz I can spend hours playing with my camera and a single prop yet never get bored  (although I barely have more than 10 mins generally)
Coz I care more about my camera and lens than about any diamonds I have...

And no..I am not going to stop my day job coz well.. I love banking and finance too...coz I didnt goto a top notch management school to not drop out now... and coz I need moolah to feed my dirty lil eating (and shopping for crockery habit :)

This particular dish, is full of good memories for me...
Just as my home becomes redolent with the aroma coming from the masala, the memories rise and cloak me in a warm fuzzy cocoon....
Memories of Sunday lunches made by my mum or Ma..
Days when eating in was something I looked forward to the most...when this dish was enough to make me salivate for the entire week...when satiation came in the form of simple,no fuss mom's easy chicken curry, rice,dal and salad.

Chicken sukka is a thick gravy preparation cooked using onions as a base and fried masala that lends a beautiful flavor and aroma to it..
I have been eating this since I was 5 yrs old I think...and I could make this perfectly by the time I was 14.
Its an easy dish...
Its a tasty dish..
Its a robust Indian dish.
 And even now nothing can be better than indulging in this every once in a while...
Its so dang delicious that even P demands for it every now and then trying his best to impress my mom with his attempt at broken Oriya.... "Mama make that chicken Sukha na"
Now THAT is one conversation that needs to be recorded...It will keep you laughing for days....!!
Part of #myjoyfullife series soon! :P

Here's how you make this amazing chicken curry..

Chicken 1 kg

For the Ground Masala:
Onion 2 Meduim
Ginger 1 inch
Garlic 10-12 cloves
Dried Red chillie 2
Bay leaf 1
Cardamom 3-4
Cloves 4
Peppercorn 7-8
Black Cardamom 1
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Fennel Seeds 1tsp
Kasuri Methi 1 tbsp

Green chillie 1-2
Oil 1/2 tsp

Dry Roast: 
Cardamom 2
Cloves 2
Cinnamon 1/2 inch
Peppercorn 4
Cumin 1/2 tsp

Onions chopped up 4medium (2 chopped fine, 2 sliced)
Tomatoes chopped fine 2
Green chillies 2, chopped large
Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) 1 tsp
Coriander leaf for garnish
Kashmiri Red Chillie Powder 1 tsp (acc to taste)
Crushed Black pepper -1/2 tsp
Tandoori Chicken Masala Powder 1 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp (as needed)
Salt (as needed) 

Start by dry roasting the ingredients in a dry pan/tawa.. Cool and coarsely grind to a powder. Reserve.
Next, In a mixer, add the ingredients under the ground masala ,a dash of water and grind till its smooth in texture. Keep aside.
Chop up the tomatoes finely.
Slice the Onions.
Heat a nonstick kadhai/dutch oven and pour some oil - 1tbsp
Once hot, add some cumin seeds and let it pop..
Add the finely chopped onion to it and saute till translucent..
Next add the ground masala and fry it off for a bit..
Next add the powdered masalas mentioned under "others", add the tomatoes and fry the masala well for 7-10 mintues till beautifully colored, fragrant and pil leaves the side of the masala..
Next crush in the kasuri methi and add the chicken pieces..
Cook open for 5 mins without turning.
Next lower the heat, and mix well and cook covered for 20-25 mins , add a little water if you see the chicken sticking (I typically don't) , just keep stirring once in a while to ensure it doesn't stick to the pan...
Cook til the gravy is think and coating the chicken...
Add the dry roasted garam masala powder... the coriander leaves, give it a stir and sprinkle some slit green chillies..

Remembering Simpler chicken days, 
S :) 

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