Who doesn’t love the fragrant aromas of Masala spice?
My love for spices are getting stronger and stronger day by day. I am definitely very fond of a good Curry and what is more delightful than a traditional Mauritian Chicken Curry. I remember how back during the days especially during New Year times, we would be so eager to go celebrate at my Aunty. Because we all knew back then that she makes the Curry to die for. You would literally lick your fingers with her Curry, trust me! We would all so look forward to her amazing cuisine and in Mauritius I guess it is the food really that binds us all. I have often been told that I have inherited her good hands when it comes to cooking because cooking is normally transcendental from older generations to younger ones. There will always be someone to pick up the rich tradition no matter how long it would take. We have to keep the love in the family running, right?
”Curry de Poulet” or ”Cari Poule Masala” as being so widely called here in Mauritius has definitely earned its place as the most traditional food staple among different communities. We all go over the moon when we hear that ”Cari Poule” has been made for dinner or lunch. Sometimes served with white fluffy rice or nice hot parathas right from the stove accompanied or even the flaky soft Dal Puris followed by a nice crunchy salad. Oh mine, so heart whelming really! I, on the other hand, can solely eat my rice with only the gravy so much it is creamy delicious. Fingers all tucked in, a truly divine Mauritian experience really.
This Curry also holds such a special place in the hearts of many as it is greatly bound to the home feeling. Largely present while growing up along with that absolute aromatic smell you can spot miles away from any kitchen, Mauritian Chicken Curry has become more than just a Curry. I love mine very spicy and especially the day after, where the flavours develop themselves more profoundly. This recipe is therefore that of a smoking and spicy hot one but you can reduce its intensity really if you want it rather subtle especially for children because their eyes literally glow in front of this dish.
The Taste of Home – Mauritian Chicken Curry/ Mauritian Cari Poule Masala
Preparation time : 30 mins
Cooking time : 45 mins
- 1 whole Chicken (750g ) cut into respective pieces
- 4 medium sized potatoes
- 1 large onion
- 200g tomatoes
- 1 cup garden peas (canned/frozen)
- 5 big spoonful of Masala powder/Garam Masala powder
- 5 green cardamom pods
- 5 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 dry red chillies
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
- ½ pressed lemon juice
- Ginger/garlic paste
- Couple of Curry leaves
- Thyme bouquet
- Bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped
- Vegetable oil
- Cut and wash your chicken pieces respectively as well as prep your other vegetables.
- Heat a large saucepan/cooking pot with some vegetable oil and leave to heat at a medium hot temperature.
- Sweat your onions,thymes,curry leaves,garlic/ginger paste along with all the seeds as well as dry red chilli for approx. 10 mins on low heat.
- Add in the juicy tomatoes either canned or ripe to the tempering ingredients.
- Add 50ml of water and leave to simmer until reduced into a paste.
- Stir in the Masala powder, combine thoroughly and salt accordingly.
- Next pour in all your cut chicken pieces as well as your chunky potatoes into the Masala paste and add in 1 litre of water.
- Cover and leave to simmer on low heat by continuously stirring from time to time.
- Before turning off the gas, throw in the frozen peas into the Curry.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and squeeze in the lemon juice to bring out all the fragrance of the Curry.
- Best served with the classic Dal Puri or Roti/Flatbreads and some vibrant pickles along with a selection of sides of your own liking for example Rougaille.
Note : You can lessen the intensity of the heat by reducing the amount of spices I used as per your liking really. Also you can substitute the potatoes with Chayotes if ever you don’t like having potatoes in your Curry.
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