I love what I do, my passion for Indian food, its colour, vibrancy and complexity drives me to continue learning. This blog will be an avenue for me share recipes with you, allowing you to replicate them at home for your friends and family.

I've always felt like there is a beauty in simplicity so I'll keep it simple, an insight into where I learnt the dish or it's inspiration, a beautiful photograph and a recipe. So to kick things off...

Chicken Ishtu
A coconut and chicken stew from the Syrian, christian community of Kerala

600g Chicken thighs skin off, cut into 4 pieces.
13 Cardamom pods
10 cloves
1.5 Stick cinnamon
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Red onions large dice (or 4 medium sized shallots)
1 Knob ginger peeled and sliced into small batons
7 Small green chillies torn in half
1 Medium sized potatoes
Coconut oil
100g cashews
50g sultanas or raisins
400ml coconut milk (I suggest ayam or a coconut milk with at least 18g fat per 100g and no added stabilisers)
400ml water

* Steam potato, cool and dice. You can do this up to two days ahead or if in a hurry you can skip the cooling part, however your potatoes will want to fall apart a little.

* Roughly bash cardamom, cloves and cinnamon in mortar and pestle or with the handle of your knife.

* In a kadai or medium sized pot fry chicken off in coconut oil in batches until all of it has been fried to a light golden colour. Set aside.

* Add a little more coconut oil and toast cardamom, cloves and cinnamon toast over a medium heat until they have released there aroma and have started to smell sweet.

* Add onions/shallots, ginger, chilli and fry on gently until the onions are lightly caramelised and have lost there astringency.

* Add coconut milk and water and bring to a simmer.

* Add chicken and cook gently on low heat until the chicken has cooked through and set aside.

* In frying pan heat ghee, when hot add cashews and fry until lightly golden, add raisins/sultanas and continue to fry until they have swelled up. While still hot pour over your chicken ishtu and serve with steamed rice or appam.


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