In every Christian home in Kerala, on the day before Christmas and Easter, women busy themselves with the prep work for a scrumptious breakfast of palappam and chicken stew for the D day. What better way to kick start the celebrations than with these soft rice appams surrounded by a beautiful ‘lace’ and a rich and creamy stew. Palappam and stew is also served for tea during special gatherings and as the first course for lunch/dinner. I especially remember the appam and stew served at my father’s home on the morning of my cousins’ marriages. The stew would be ladled over the appam, and while the ‘lace’ is supposed to be crisp, I love the way the stew makes it soggy.
In every Christian home in Kerala, on the day before Christmas and Easter, women busy themselves with the prep work for a scrumptious breakfast of palappam and chicken stew for the D day. What better way to kick start the celebrations than with these soft rice appams surrounded by a beautiful ‘lace’
Cooking Time: 40 mins
1 kg chicken , cut into medium pieces and cleaned
1 tsp pepper corns
4 – 5 cloves
1 inch piece cinnamon
2 tbsps fennel seeds ,
2 medium onions , sliced into thin long slices
1 carrot , cubed
2 potatoes , cubed
1 inch piece of ginger , julienned
cloves 6 garlic , julienned
4 – 5 green chilies , slit lengthwise
1½ tsps vinegar
1 cup coconut milk thick
2 – 3 cups thin coconut milk
1 tsp cornflour
4 tbsps Coconut oil
a few curry leaves
to taste Salt ,
Heat oil in a vessel large enough to hold the chicken.
Splutter black pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and fennel seeds in this order. Make sure the spices do not burn or you would have to start fresh.
Saute the ginger, garlic for a few seconds. Then saute the onions till they are tender. Toss in the carrot and potatoes, and after a couple of minutes, add the chicken pieces, and half the curry leaves. Mix everything together and add salt.
Pour in the thin coconut milk, so that the chicken is completely covered with milk. Cover and cook, stirring once in a while, till the chicken is completely done. Adjust seasoning.
Stir the cornflour into the thick coconut milk. Once chicken is completely cooked, add the coconut milk and heat till the gravy just begins to boil. Remove from heat.
Add the remaining curry leaves. After about 10 minutes, add vinegar and mix well.
You can add a handful or raisins and cashewnuts to the stew along with the potatoes and carrots.
A quarter cup of fresh cream added along with the coconut milk makes the stew even yummier.