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One of a Kind – Chicken Sambar

Difficulty Beginner
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 30 min Total Time: 40 mins
Servings 4
    Sambar Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Whole peppercorns
  • 5 Kashmir red chillies
  • 1 tablespoon Raw rice
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander seeds ((Heaped))
  • 1/8 teaspoon Fenugreek
  • For curry
  • 350 grams Chicken ((curry pieces))
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed garlic
  • 1/2 cup Shallots ((Cut in half))
  • For masala paste
  • 1/2 cup Shallots ((sliced))
  • 2 tablespoons Freshly grated coconut
  • Curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Kerala garam masala
  • 1 Tomato ((Cubed))
  • 1 Tamarind ((A lemon sized ball soaked in 1/2 cup water))
  • 1 teaspoon Jaggery syrup ((optional))
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • Few Curry leaves
  • 5-6 Dried round red chillies
  • 1/8 teaspoon Asafoetida
  1. Wash and pat dry chicken pieces

  2. Rub salt, turmeric and oil onto the chicken and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. 

  3. Heat a pan and dry roast the sambar spices. Heat until the spices are warm and they release their aroma and oil. Cool lightly and grind to a fine powder. Keep it aside. 

  4. Add one tbsp of oil to the same pan, add sliced shallots and saute until its light brown. Add grated coconut to it and fry until its golden brown. 

  5. Cool for a few minutes and grind to a fine paste with little water 

  6. Now add 2 tbsp of oil to the same pan and toss marinated chicken on high flame. Add curry leaves and saute chicken until it changes colour. Now add crushed ginger, garlic and halved shallots. Continue to cook on high flame stirring continuously. Toss chicken on high flame until its browned. 

  7. Add ground spices and 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Toss on high flame for 5 minutes. 

  8. Add chopped tomatoes, cook for 2 minutes. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. 

  9. Add ground paste and saute for 5 minutes. Add water, cover and simmer until the chicken is tender. 

  10. Add tamarind water, garam masala and simmer until the chicken feels tender and has absorbed all the flavours. 1 tsp of jaggery can be added if needed to balance the sourness. 

  11. Chicken should be spicy and tangy and bursting with the flavour of the spices. 

  12. Heat 2 tbsp of oil, splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chillies, asafoetida, and pour over the chicken. Serve warm. 


Chicken - I prefer to use only the chicken pieces with the bone preferably the drumsticks and thighs. Cut chicken thighs and drumsticks into curry sized portions. 

Coconut oil - Virgin or cold pressed coconut oil is preferred for the preparation. 

Sambar mix - Sambar spices can be prepared ahead and stored in an airtight container for upto 2 weeks. 

Storage - This preparation tastes the best on the day its made. If you are preparing this ahead, temper the mustard seeds, curry leaves and chillies just before serving. 

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