Monday, 28 December 2009

Kozhi Nirachathu (Stuffed Chicken with Gravy)

An advance New year wishes from my side to all of you. May the coming year bring all sort of happiness and comfort to all of you.

Kozhi Nirachathu is one of the Malabar specialities; I don’t think it is popular but is definitely a heart winner. I didn’t have a clue about this recipe until I came across shaheen’s blog. I then enquired about it to my mom who then told me that she have heard about it and one of my aunts used to make it long back. These days stuffed chicken is not commonly made may be due to the tremendous labour that goes into making it and in a household where there are many members, you definitely need more than a chicken to feed all. Well, I never got to eat them even while I was in Kerala and only had them when I made them myself.

Even though Kozhi nirachathu/ stuffed chicken is not popularly seen around, many other luxurious stuffed items are commonly made in Malabar region for any occasion like Eid, Iftar, parties, for the just married groom and when important guests pay a visit. These stuffed foods include stuffed plantains of different types commonly known as ‘Unnakkaya’ or ‘Kaayada’ and pazham nirachathu, stuffed pancakes that take different forms and shapes like meen pathiri, chatty pathiri, atti pathal, Chemmeen ada, kadalapparippu ada to name a few...... I still have bizarre memories of a whole stuffed goat during one of my post wedding parties, with goat lying on its back and all four legs up in the air!!!

Well, coming back to Kozhi nirachathu/stuffed chicken, I recently prepared this it for dinner and we had it with Porotta and salad. It was finger-licking delicious! The recipe was an amazing one and I closely followed the recipe and instruction given at shaheen’s blog. I had noticed that recipe long time when I was blog hopping but I felt it was too complicated and time consuming at that time. And I guess it still is!!! I was just waiting for the perfect mood to make it because I knew it needs quite a lot of patience...The taste was too good and we just couldn’t stop admiring the dish. It was yummy and I surely would make it again, but only if there is someone to help me with my kid or share a part of toil!

Coming to the preparation part, tying the hands and legs sounded quite simple, but it took me sometime to tie the leg and I couldn’t manage to tie the hands. At a point of time, where I almost lost my patience, I also thought of using safety pin instead of tying them up! It also took a long time to finish cooking as managing the large bird was quite a hurdle plus so many other stuffs in between- my son’s feeding, washing up and a bit of time to run behind him and chase him when he tries to distract me playing naughty.....So my advice would be, try this dish when you have plenty of time in hand, a bit of patience and there is no one to bother you in the process!

Kozhi Nirachathu(Stuffed Chicken with Gravy)

1400g (3 Lb) Chicken, skinned

3 Tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp Lime juice
1 tsp salt or as required
3-4 tbsp water

Ingredients for Egg stuffing:
2-3 tsp vegetable oil/coconut oil/olive oil
1 or 2 Eggs
3 medium size (325g) onions sliced thinly (3 cups)
2-4 slit green chillies
1 twig curry leaves
½ Tbsp ginger, minced
½ Tbsp garlic, minced
¼ cup (28g) cashews (Optional)
1 Tbsp raisins (optional)
½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder/paprika
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Little salt to taste

Ingredients for the gravy:
4 medium size (385g) onions, sliced and then chopped into small pieces (2 ¾ cup)
2 twig curry leaves
3 large tomatoes (240g) chopped (1 ½ cups)
3/4 - 1 Tbsp freshly minced ginger
3/4 - 1 Tbsp freshly minced garlic
2-4 green chillies split lengthwise
1 ½ tsp fennel seeds powdered (1/2 heaped tablespoon)
2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder/paprika
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp garam masala powder
A handful of coriander leaves, chopped

4 Tbsp oil
Salt as required
¼ cup water (Add it only if your grvay is quite dry and to add moisture)


1.Clean the chicken well and make shallow incision on the thick part of chicken. Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients under marinade. Cover with a cling film and place it in the refrigerator for a minimum of two hours or overnight. (I usually marinate it overnight to let the marinade penetrate through.)

2. Make the egg stuffing:

a.Boil eggs, peel and keep aside. Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté the cashews until golden and sauté the raisins until it puffs up. Remove from the pan and keep them aside along with the eggs. In the same pan, add the sliced onions, curry leaves, green chillies, ginger and garlic and sauté till onion turns brown. Add all the spice powders (turmeric powder, coriander powder and chilli powder) and sauté till it leaves aroma. Add raisins and cashews if using and mix well. Add eggs and mix well.

3. Stuff the chicken with this mixture taking care not to over stuff it. Insert the eggs first and then the onion masala. Tie the legs together with a twine and hands too.

4.Make the gravy and brief-fry the chicken:

a. Heat 4 Tbsp of oil in a large frying pan or wok and shallow fry the chicken in medium heat briefly just for few minutes until all side are lightly browned. It may take 10-15 minutes for the whole chicken. Remove the chicken and drain on a kitchen towel. In the same pan, add the sliced onions, curry leaves, green chillies, ginger and garlic and sauté till onion turns brown. Add tomatoes and sauté on medium heat till they start to breakdown. Add the spice powders (turmeric powder, coriander powder, fennel powder and chilli powder) and sauté till it forms a mass and tomatoes are pulpy. Add little water if the mixture is dry. Add coriander leaves and sprinkle garam masala. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes more.

5. Final cooking:

a.Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Spread half of the gravy masala on to a baking tray/pyrex dish and place the half fried chicken on the masala. Spread rest of masala on the chicken. Cover the entire dish with foil. Place it in the centre rack of oven and bake for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for further 10 minutes.


b. After the gravy masala is prepared, place the brief-fried chicken on the masala, cover with a lid and cook it on medium flame until done. Make sure you flip the chicken on all sides to ensure thorough cooking.


shahana said...

U got a lot of patience!!!super!!!

Faiza Ali said...

My my my !! That sure looks sooo tempting,delicious and yummy Shabs. Lot of hard work indeed. But the outcome is Awesome :)

Namitha said...

ayyo drooling now..Awesome dish.Thanks for sharing this malabar speciality :-)

Dori said...

That is an amazing dish! Very impressive!

Unknown said...

Its a great one, absolutely gorgeous!!..I have tried this once from vanitha magazine.but version is little different... It tasted great. I will try your recipe next time..ethu kanditu sherikum kothiyavunu..great job shabs:)
Thanks a lot for sharing the award!!
Wishing u & ur family wonderful Happy New Year!!

Tina said...

Entammooooo adipoli....athingu thaneru kettooooo...kidilam mole kidilam...

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Shabs
Simply wonderful, the photos, the detailed description..oven setting, cooking time , just perfect..
I have never cooked a whole chicken ( but eaten many :-
Hope to make one someday ( high hopes???)
Happy New year

Sailaja Damodaran said...

Worth trying this tempting dish.....

Anonymous said...


Priya dharshini said...

wow..Best Full chicken masala i ever seen..pls pass the plate

Latha said...

Chicken looks awesome....amazing clicks.

Zareena said...

sammathichu thannirikunnu...kidilam....wishing u and u'r family a very HAppy New Year toooo!!!

Duchess of Tea said...

Happy & Blessed New Year darling. Wishing you and yours good health, much happiness and vast fortune in the new year.

Love & Hugs

Reflections said...

U've explained it beautifully....I've made this once and it came out good. I too took it from Mallu Spice:-)).

p.s: came here to tell u that u've been awarded:-)

Aparna said...

looks yummy

Aparna said...

biriyani items allam kollalloo..perfect..will try ur recipe also..i am also 4rm malabar.

Unknown said...

It turned out really well...thanq very much for sharing such wonderful recepie !

Unknown said...

It turned out really well...thanq very much for sharing such wonderful recepie !

Shabs.. said...

Mahek, congrats! You did it. And thx for the feed back. Iam glad you liked it...

bhagy said...

hi shabs....
its really gud...i made it today and turned out well...but i want to notice u that u forgot something in gravy section..u didnt mention how much garlic and ginger can u pls correct it for us....thanks

Shabs.. said...

Hi bhagy....I am glad u liked the dish and happy that it came out well for u....

And thank u so much for mentioning missing of ginger and garlic in the recipe....I have updated it now.


archana said...

You should absolutely write a cook book !

Thasna said...

I am in the middle of preparing this and cross checked with recipe in malabr spices. Malabar spices says bake for 20 mins as opposed to your recipe which says 1 hr 45 mins. I am a little confused at this point. I set the timer for 1 hr and will see whats gonna happen... Hopefully it will come out well. Thanks for the recipe.


Shabs.. said...

Hi thasna, My chicken is double the size of her chicken and in my oven it took me 1 hour 45 minutes. if your chicken is as big as mine, it should take around that time, but keep checking in between as over cooking may dry it out.

Malli's Mint and Mimosas said...

You have an awesome blog and wonderful recipes! Keep up the great work:)

jiya said...

heloo shabs.....
thanks 4 the recipe....i tried it and it came very well...

Googled said...

Trying to upload a photograph of the finished product , Yummy! Did a little bit of a twist on the stuffing added mince and peas , and covered the entire chicken with Bacon so didnt need to baste, but I guess my version made the gravy a little more oily , but all in all awesome recipie.


Noor Nazar said...

I had this dish when my husband's grandmother called us for lunch "thakkaram" the first time after our marriage :) I really want to try this. But, as you said, and as I had heard from my in-laws, its really a long and a tiring process. But, I still want to try. I just wanted to ask you, whether I can make the egg masala and store it in the fridge and do the chicken the next day. Would it be okay? Or do you think, everything should be done on the same day? Thanks a lot for the wonderful recipes Shabs.

Shabs.. said...

Hi noor!.....I would recommend all not to make the whole thing in a day as it is tiring. You can make the gravy or egge masala a day before and do the rest the next day. I marinate chicken and make the egg masala the previous day and then make the gravy and baking next day.

Noor Nazar said...

wow :) so its three days... that makes it a lot easier.. wud let you know how it turned out :)

Shabs.. said...

not three, 2 days...marinating chicne plus making filling one day. Making gravy and baking the next day:)...let me know how it turned out....I made it without filling for a party the other day and it was great too....u can do that way too.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...