Murgh Malvani or chicken cooked in spicy gravy made with flavour of malvani masala, is a non-vegetarian dish, which is quite popular in Maharashtra and the Konkan region.
Malvani Cuisine originates from Malvan, a coastal area in Konkan comprising of the coastal districts of western Indian states of Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka. Hence the Malvani cuisine has an overlap of Maharashtrian cuisine,Goan cuisine and South Indian cuisine.
It was through sailing that Vasco da gama came to India and onto this land of Malvan. Thereafter this place became very popular among the Europeans because of its vast abundance of peppers, and it came to be known as ‘Land Of Pepper’. Maharashtrian Malvani Masala is one of the finest aromatic masalas used in non-vegetarian as well as vegetarian recipes. Sometimes the ultimate purpose to visit Konkan is also because of its Spicy Food Culture. Break fast with Amboli-Chatni, Lunch with Sweet Dish and Dinner with Spicy Fish & Special Malvani Chicken. You just can’t stop to eat along with as you travel.
Malvan is very famous for Lord Shankar Temple, known as Kunkeshwar Temple, built bang on beach of Kunkeshwar.
Malvan also has a mythological significance. It is said that that Parashurama , the sixth avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, had chosen Malvan to stay and take rest, after he had defeated and single-handedly successfully conquered and killed crores of kshatriyas, who had become evil.
In terms of architecture, Malvan is famous for Malvan Fort wich was built by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj with a vision of safe guarding his Empire from attacks of his enemies from sea.
Now coming back to the Malvan Cuisine, like most other regional cuisines, Malvani Cuisine has its own distinct way of cooking food. The coconut forms the main ingredient, and it is used liberally in various forms such as grated, dry grated, fried, coconut paste and coconut milk. Many masalas will have dried red chilies and other spices like coriander seeds, peppercorns, cumin, cardamom, ginger, garlic, etc. So the Malvani cuisine curries are predominantly hot and spicy. However the ‘Konkanastha Brahmin’ style of food is quite bland yet very tasty and vegetarian too. Traditionally, Murgh Malvani is served with vade which is a fluffy, fried bread of wheat and nachni flour, looking similar to puri.
- 750 gms of chicken cut into cubes( skinless and bone in or boneless)
- 8-12 Dried red chillies broken
- 1 knob ginger peeled, grated or finely chopped
- 6-8 Garlic cloves smashed, peeled and grated or finely chopped
- ¾ teaspoon Cumin seeds
- ¾ teaspoon Caraway seed (shahi jeera)
- 6-8 Cloves
- 6 Green cardamoms
- 2 Black cardamoms
- 8 Black peppercorns
- 1½ teaspoons Poppy seeds (khuskhus/posto)
- ¾ cup dried coconut ( khopra) grated
- Salt to taste
- 3 teaspoon Coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons Oil
- 3 medium Onions finely chopped
- ¾ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- Marinade the chicken with salt, ginger and garlic and let it rest in a refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Dry roast cumin seeds, caraway seeds, cloves, green cardamoms, black cardamoms, black peppercorns, poppy seeds, dried coconut, red chillies and coriander seeds for 5-6 minutes on low heat till fragrant. Cool and grind to a powder.
- Heat oil in a deep non-stick pan.Add onions, turmeric powder and saute till they are light brown, soft and translucent.
- Add chicken and mix. Add the masala powder and mix well. Add 2 cups of water and cook, covered, till the chicken is done, about 20-30 minutes.
- Serve hot with puri, naan or hot steaming rice.