Succulent pieces of chicken cooked to perfection in a delicious, spicy, creamy coconut curry base, ready to be mopped up with crispy rice flatbreads, a traditional Mangalorean dish that will have you licking your fingers
1. A large coconut yields approximately 2 cups thin milk & 1 cup thick milk. Here's how to do it & the substitute for it. If you do not wish to use coconut milk in your curry just use 1-1/4 cups of grated coconut instead of 1/2 cup and skip the coconut milk altogether. But you may need to adjust the spice a bit here.
Extracting fresh coconut milk
Grate the flesh of one coconut and transfer it to a mixer grinder. Add about 1/2 cup of warm water and pulse the mixer grinder for a few seconds.
Line a bowl with cheese/muslin cloth and transfer the ground coconut into it. Cover the cloth into a bundle and squeeze to extract thick milk. Keep aside
Add a little water (depending on how much thin milk you desire) and repeat process. This is the thin milk.
Preparing coconut milk from coconut milk powder (I use Maggi)
To make approx 2 cups thin milk - Dissolve 6 tbsp coconut milk powder in 1-1/2 cups warm water
To make approx 1 cup thick milk - Dissolve 6 tbsp coconut milk powder in 3/4th cup warm water
2. Mangaloreans, especially Bunts use short red chillies which are also called as Harekala chillies - these are quite spicy. The long dry chillies that are used are called the Byadge/Bedgi chillies. Click to see pictures. You may use a combination of both or just use the Bedgi variety. To reduce the spice adjust the quantity of peppercorns and use the chillies partially deseeded. For a mildly spicy curry you can use Kashmiri chillies. The original recipe asked for 22 chillies & 1 tsp peppercorns. I reduced them to 15 chillies and 1/2 tsp peppercorns which yielded a medium spicy curry. A lot of the spice gets balanced out when the coconut milk is added, so please use your judgement here.
3.While roasting the spices take care to ensure that they don't burn or turn black - this will lend a bitter taste to the curry which is avoidable. Ensure that roasting is done in a good quality heavy pan