Kaari Chaawal

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Kaari Chawal

About 7-8 skinless chicken drumsticks or about 2 lbs of bone-in, skinless chicken
2 cups of the Kaari spice mix
2 cans Coconut Milk, diluted in 1 can-full of water
2-3 tbsp dessicated coconut
3-4 whole green chilies, slit lengthwise
1 cup Ghee or clarified butter
2 cinnamon sticks
3 Anise Stars
1 tbsp Cumin seeds
3 tbsp Ginger & Garlic paste
1/2 tbsp Red Chili powder
Salt to taste
1/2 cup wet tamarind (available at any Asian or Indian grocery store)
A handful of chopped coriander and mint leaves
Lemon juice for garnishing


Clean the chicken, pat dry and keep aside. You can also use mutton in this dish, but cooking time will be much longer
In a large pot, heat the Ghee on medium heat. When heated, add the Cinnamon sticks, Anise Stars and cumin seeds
When the spices crackle and are fragrant, add the Ginger & Garlic paste. Allow to fry for a minute and then add the spice mix, lower the heat and toast it in the Ghee, stirring occasionally, until the fat separates from the sides of the mixture
Now add the chicken or mutton, and mix well. Allow the meat to cook partially in the spice mix, with a lid on the pot
Add the diluted coconut milk, dessicated coconut, and slit green chilies. Mix very well and add salt to taste. Put a lid on the pot, set heat on low-medium and allow the curry to simmer
When the meat is partially cooked, add the red chili powder, mix well and continue to cook
When the meat is fully cooked, heat about 1 cup of water in a bowl and add the wet tamarind in it. Squeeze the paste from the tamarind into the water. Remove any solids from this mixture and add to the curry. Mix well. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes more.
Garnish with chopped coriander and mint leaves. The true test of a well-done Kaari is when the fat from the clarified butte rises to the top of the curry
Serve with hot naan and Cumin Rice