Kuku paka- Kenyan Chicken Curry

"The International Food Challenge" (IFC) for the month of July explored African Cuisine ,which is a brainchild of  both Saraswathy Tharagaram of Saras Yummy Bites and Shobana of Kitchen Secret And Snippets  and is hosted by Ramya Venkateswaran of LemonKurryIFC is a monthly event and for those who are interested to join by all means click any of the hosts links and be a member !

There were about five recipes to choose from , and I've opt for the Kuku Paka.
Kuku Paka, a chicken-coconut curry, is a Swahili dish from the coast of Eastern Africa. It is also sometimes called an Ismaili dish, and it shows up on some Indian menus -- which all makes sense when one considers that the Swahili civilization itself is a mixture of influences from Africa, Arabia, and India. Etymologically, Kuku Paka is somewhat unclear. The African origins of Kuku Paka are clearly seen in the word kuku, which means chicken in Kiswahili (the Swahili language) and other African languages. But the paka part is unclear. It's notable that nazi (the Swahili word for coconut) is not used in the name of this dish, as it is in other Swahili dishes. Some say that paka denotes a dish made with coconut milk.

The dish was overall a hit .The smell and taste was indeed awesome.Simple yet a tasty dish.The dish uses tomatoes ,but I had replaced it with passata as I had it in my pantry.It gave a sweetness to the dish and was thick in gravy.

  • Chicken, cut into pieces -- 3 pounds
  • Onion, chopped -- 1
  • Hot chilli peppers, chopped -- 2 or 3/I used bird eye chillies
  • Ginger, peeled and chopped -- 2 tablespoons
  • Garlic, chopped -- 2 tablespoons
  • Oil or ghee -- 1/4 cup
  • Meat Curry powder -- 1 tablespoon (I added abt 2 tbsp) (with a combination of ground cayenne pepper or red pepper, cumin)
  • Cumin seeds -- 2 teaspoons
  • Chopped tomatoes  -- 2 cups/ I used passata 1 cup
  • Coconut milk -- 2 cups, or 1 (15-ounce) can
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Cilantro or parsley chopped -- 1/2 cup

  1. Add the onion, chillis, ginger and garlic to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add a little water if necessary.
  2. Heat the oil ,butter or  ghee in a large pot or wok over medium flame. Add the onion puree, curry powder and cumin and sauté, stirring frequently, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until cooked down.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Then add the chicken, coconut milk, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through and tender, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Add more water as needed.
  4. Stir in the cilantro or parsley, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve with with rice or chapatti.              Note: I have added some potatoes as well.





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