Recipe: Kokur masala from On the Himalayan Trail by Romy Gill

17 May 2022
Recipe: Kokur masala from On the Himalayan Trail by Romy Gill

Romy Gill recreates flavours from homes she visited in Kashmir with this kokur masala

While I was in Kashmir, I didn't have any chicken dishes in the restaurants, only in the homes I was invited to, but the flavours I got to taste there were utterly delicious.

This combination of shallots and chicken is perfect. You can eat this as a starter or as a main meal with rice or salad.

Serves 4

  • 8 chicken drumsticks (remove the skin)
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2tsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • Sunflower oil, for frying
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 8cm cinnamon stick
  • 400g shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 black cardamom pods, seeds crushed and ground into a powder in a pestle and mortar
  • Seeds from 5 green cardamom pods, ground into a powder in a pestle and mortar
  • 100ml water
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • 2 green chillies, roughly chopped

Place the chicken drumsticks in a large bowl. Add ½tsp of the salt and 1tsp of the chilli powder, and mix together.

Pour sunflower oil into a deep, heavy-based pan to a depth of 8cm. Place over a medium heat and heat to 180°C on a digital thermometer. Alternatively, you can drop in a tiny piece of bread: if it sizzles and browns in 15 seconds, the oil is hot enough.

Once the oil is hot, add the chicken drumsticks and fry for 10-12 minutes until brown and crispy all over. You may need to do this in batches. Set them aside on a plate.

Heat 5tsp of oil in a separate frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bay leaves and cinnamon stick, then add the sliced shallots and cook for 10-15 minutes until dark brown. Add all the spices, including the remaining ½tsp salt and 1tsp chilli powder, then pour in the water.

Cook, stirring, for one minute, then add the fried chicken and cook, still over a medium heat, for 20 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with coriander and the chopped green chillies.

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