Varadi cuisine belongs to the region of Maharashtra. Located in the interior of Maharashtra and away from the coastline this region is known as Vidarbh. This region has its own cultural and historical background distinct from rest of Maharashtra.
Varadi cuisine is a more on a spicier side. The dishes prepared here are more exotic and spicy than that of their coastal and southern counterparts.They mainly use besan-gram flour and ground peanuts. Powdered coconut is used more in their dishes instead of fresh coconut.Chicken and mutton are popular in this region as seafood is not easily available. Commonly used spices are black pepper, dry coriander, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Each house has different type of masalas. Kala (Black) masala, Thanda (Cold) masala. These masalas are used in various vegetables, meat & poultry and seafood to spike up the recipe.
I was introduced to this regions dishes after my marriage Initially I had a tough time adjusting to the Chilly factor. It gave me creeps. And still does. I got this recipe from my ma in law. She is a great cook. The use of Chilly powder is too much but again you can adjust it according to your taste. I have. Love the flavor and the way it is prepared. Completely different & delicious.
This recipe serves 3 -4 people
500 gm Chicken
1 tbsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp coriander powder
2-3 slices of onion (Kept aside from masala 1)
1/2 cup oil
1 tbsp salt
2 cups of water
3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1 big onion sliced (keep 2 – 3 slices separate)
5 cloves of garlic
2 inch ginger
1 green chilly
4 -5 sprigs of coriander leaves
Whole garam masala ( 8 pepper corns, 2 cloves, 1″inch cinnamon, 1 black cardamom)
1/2 tbsp dry coconut powder
1/4 tsp poppy seeds or 3-4 cashew nuts
FOR MASALA 2:
Dry roast poppy seed & coconut powder & grind to paste with little water
STEPS TO PREPARE VARADI KOMDI:
- Masala 1- Heat oil in a nonstick pan. Add sliced onion. Cook on medium flame till it changes color to brown. Keep aside to cool. Grind the cooled onion with ginger,garlic, whole garam masala,green coriander leaves, green chilly to make a paste.
- Masala 2- Dry roast coconut & poppy seeds in a pan. Grind into a paste with some water.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add the 2-3 pieces of sliced onion. When brown in color add Masala 1.
- Fry for a few minutes stirring continuously till the rawness of ginger garlic smell goes away.
- Now add in turmeric,red chilly , coriander powder & salt. Fry again for a few min
- Add in Chicken pcs.
- Stir the chicken till all the masala is coated on it and oil has started leaving the sides
- At this stage add in Masala 2. Stir.
- Now add coriander leaves & water.
- Cover & cook till chicken is tender.
- Keep the gravy thickness according to your taste.
- Serve with rice or roti.