Kerala Chicken Curry
Ann Ittoop shares her mother's recipe, a family Easter staple.
This Easter, treat your loved ones to a very special South Indian dish. A first-generation Indian American who grew up in North Carolina, Ann Ittoop runs her own food blog, The Familiar Kitchen, where she celebrates both her South Indian heritage and her upbringing in America's South. Here, she's sharing her recipe for Kerala Chicken Curry, a staple of her childhood Easter table.
Ittoop fondly recalls the Easter celebrations of her childhood—her mother marinating the chicken a day early and making each appam to order on Easter Sunday. The ultimate expression of love? Her mother's Kerala Chicken Curry, passed down in a family recipe book, which Ittoop has adapted herself and continues to cook for her family's Easter meal. It all starts with the Meat Masala Blend: fennel seeds, cardamom pods, whole cloves, and a cinnamon stick create an aromatic spice rub that infuses flavor into every layer of the dish. Ittoop toasts the whole spices before grinding them to make a sweet-and-smoky rub for the chicken.
The curry base gains much depth from the spice mixture; it's especially vibrant with a shot of freshly toasted spices in the tempering mixture at the end. This final touch brightens the whole dish—add the tempering right before serving.