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Chicken Stew (Kozhi Ishtew)

Ease of Preparation: Easy

Preparation Time: 15-20 min

Cook Time: 35 min

Servings: 6

Recipe By: Lathika George

From:  The Kerala Kitchen
Used with permission of Hippocrene Books

Other Soups & Chili
Other Indian
Other Poultry

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Chicken Stew (Kozhi Ishtew)

The ishtew, influenced by the blander Western stew, has a subtle blend of whole spices and green chilis simmered in coconut milk. When entertaining, I like to use boneless chicken in bite-size pieces. Vegetable stew can also be prepared the same way with potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, and beans. Ishtew is usually served with appams or puttu but is also good with thick slices of bread.

1 tablespoon oil
6  shallots, thinly sliced
2  onions, cut into thick wedges
3  green chilies, slit
1 tablespoon sliced fresh ginger
8  curry leaves
3  (1-inch) cinnamon sticks
4  cardamom pods, lightly crushed
6  whole cloves
1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1  (3-pound) chicken, cut into 16 pieces or 4  boneless chicken breasts, quartered
2  large potatoes, quartered
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
3 cups water
3 cups thin coconut milk
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup thick coconut milk
1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
Heat the oil in a deep pan and fry the sliced shallots until they are golden brown; remove them and set aside for garnishing.

In the same oil, fry the onion wedges for 1 to 2 minutes, until soft. Add the green chilies, ginger, and curry leaves and fry for 1 more minute. Add the cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, and cloves and sauté for 1 minute, then add the flour and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add the chicken pieces and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes until the meat is lightly seared. Add the potatoes, vinegar, water, thin coconut milk, and salt, and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat or until the chicken and potatoes are tender but firm.

Add the thick coconut milk and crushed peppercorns and simmer for 2 minutes.

Garnish with the fried shallots when serving.

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