My love for cookbooks is no new news! I own a lot of them and its not restricted to any particular cuisine. However sometimes I do miss out on trying something that would be earmarked for months, till I stumble upon them again. So ,its now a conscious decision to cook atleast two or three dishes from each of these books. With this motive , I started reading this beautiful book The Food of Oman by Felicia Campbell. Its a memoir of her exploration of the Omani cuisine, that is still very unknown to the world. She talks about the people, their lives and their delicious food.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the similarity in spices, a huge influence of Indian spices in their cuisine. As its rightly said, food binds the hearts and the world! I could go on and on about the book , but I rather share a lovely recipe with you all. Very similar to the Kerala Chicken stew yet so different. The warmth of this curry dish – Kuku Paaka will nourish your tastebuds. As the book suggested I made some Maldouf – Date Chapati or Flatbreads with pureed dates to go with the curry and it was a match made in heaven.
The addition of vegetables like potato, carrots and beans add to the flavour and makes it a complete meal. The original recipe is a little on the drier side, but I preffered leaving some gravy on to be mopped up with the Maldouf. Btw, Omani cuisine is a treasure trove of flatbreads and to know more I suggest you invest in the book, its truly a collectors item.
- Chicken - 500 gms - on the bone, cut into pieces
- Onion - 1 large - finely chopped
- Garlic - few cloves - minced
- Ginger - a small piece - minced
- Green chillies/Fresh red chilies - 2-3 - finely chopped
- Coconut powder - half a cup
- Ground cumin - 1 tsp
- Ground coriander - 1 tsp
- Ground turmeric - 1 tsp
- Ground cinnamon - 1 tsp
- Carrots, Potato and green beans - a handful, cut into cubes
- Ghee - 2 tbsp.
- Warm water - 1 cup
- salt to taste
- Place half the coconut milk powder in a non stick pan and roast for 2 mins till fragrant.Remove and keep aside.
- In another pan, heat the ghee and sauté the onion, ginger and garlic.
- Next add the chicken pieces and the vegetables and sauté for 2 mins.
- Put in the dry spices - cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and the roasted coconut milk powder till fragrant.
- Add half a cup of water, cover and let the curry simmer till the water dries up.
- In a small bowl, dissolve the remaining coconut powder in some warm water and add to the pan. Add the chopped chilies. Cover and let it simmer for another 5 mins or till the chicken and vegetables are cooked through.
- Serve hot with flatbread of your choice.