Thakalli Masala Kozhi is a tomato based spicy chicken curry from the heart of Chettinad region – Kairakudi. Ready in under 30 minutes and so flavorful!
This week as a part of the Chettinad recipes, I have one of my favorite and easy chicken dish. Thakalli Masala Kozhi or Chicken Tomato Masala. Pair it with rice, paranthas and dal and the perfect meal can be put together in under an hour.
Thakalli Masala Kozhi is a tomato based spicy chicken curry from the heart of Chettinad region – Kairakudi. I ate it first at the Bangala and this recipe has been adapted from The Bangala Cookbook. It is a hit at home, every time I make it!
Isn’t it amazing how in India, we use the same ingredients and create absolutely different flavorings in the food? A bit of this extra or that less can actually change the taste of the entire dish. Like the addition of some extra tomatoes in this curry means that the flavors of tomatoes stand out and you have a super delicious tangy taste in this one. The best part of this curry is that it can be paired up with rotis or rice. It tastes amazing with either.
Chettinad cuisine is gaining a lot of popularity now and what really stands out for me while cooking Chettinad food is the use of freshly ground spices. Trust me, it makes so much of a difference to the taste of the food, when you add some fresh spices to it. Roasting them slightly and then grinding them fresh imparts a completely enhanced flavor to any dish. Nothing beats the taste of freshly ground spices.
And I love making Chettinad style seafood as well. Like this crab rasam. It pairs so well with rice and some hot applams on the side. I can drink bowls and bowls of crab rasam.
Coming back to this recipe, this one is really easy to make and if you have all the ingredients at home, this gets done in 30 minutes!
Thakalli Masala Kozhi (Chicken Tomato Masala)
- 3 tbsps vegetable oil
- 2 inchs cinnamon piece
- 3 pods cardamom green
- 2 onions small finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 and 3/4 tsps chilli powder (kashmiri or goondu preffered)
- 3 - 4 pods garlic of minced
- 1 inch ginger minced
- 1 cup tomato fresh puree
- to taste salt
- 500 grams chicken curry cut
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom kadhai. When hot toss the cinnamon and cardamom and saute, till fragrant and the cardamom has plumped up.
- Add onions and stir, saute till the onions are translucent. Then add the dry spices, minced ginger and minced garlic. Saute further for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato puree and salt and cook, stirring occasionally till oil separates from the masala. At this point add the chicken. Stir to coat chicken and add 3/4 cup of water. Cover and cook till the chicken is tender approximately 12-14 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve with hot rice and dal as a perfect weekday dinner or sunday lunch.