This has got to be one of my most favourite meals from the Kenyan Coastal cuisine. Full of aroma, color and mind-blowing flavors. Always thought it was quite the task and with various attempts and fails, finally got the best recipe for it and agreed to take this challenge.
So I started of with the chicken marinade, most of the ingredients were as per expected. Although using saffron was a first but truly explained all my other failed attempts.
Put in the spices in a large bowl.
PS: I used about 10 large pieces of chicken thigh and leg and cut them in to halves.
Put the chicken pieces on top of the spices, I personally decided to give the chicken a spice rub mix of cayenne pepper and sweet paprika.
Add in the plain yoghurt/ mala.
I used mala, which is also know as sour milk, think it does the trick especially in a mix of herbs and spices.
Add in the saffron and sprinkle a little bit of the orange color.
I know what your thinking right about now! Yes saffron has its own color why add more artificial colour…. Well I wanted to go in with the recipe and follow up on the stuff I never added on my previous attempts. Just a lil food color never hurt anybody.
Remember to let the chicken marinate for atleast 3-4 hours, so go ahead grab your trainers and go workout as you wait. LOL
I had to keep it moving, so I chilled for around 3 hours and decided to get on with the rice. Before people walk in like “you haven’t started cooking??” My mother always buys basmati rice, so we’ve always used it and it’s definitely my preference.
On my first attempt my rice was a complete fail, I may have over soaked or over cooked. So just be careful, lets not have ugali/rice.
Moving on swiftly,
Soak some saffron in a small bowl of water.
Soak your rice in cold water.
According to the recipe you have to do this for 30 minutes, I soaked mine for about 15mins cause I was running late wit my dinner preps. Still turned out good though.
Add water and the pieces of spices and bring to a boil, then add the rice.
Cook the rice until its almost ¾ ready and drain out the water.
Yet another thing that made me fail on my previous attempt, you have to be careful and make sure the rice does not cook fully because it goes in for another round of cooking and you don’t want it over cooked or to burn.
Take out half the rice sprinkle food color on one side and the saffron liquid as well.
Put in the other half mix it up and cover with a tight lid let it steam on low heat for 15 minutes.
Remember to keep looking!!!
So by now if you’re following my timeline, your chicken should be ready to be transformed into a chicken curry.
Saute your onions until lightly brown.
Add in the tomato paste and the remaining saffron.
Add the sour milk let it cook for about 8-10mins.
Bet you want to just eat that right about now.
Add in the well -marinated chicken.
Keep stiring leaving the pot covered.
So now your chicken curry and rice should be ready, hoping you were checking on your rice and its still not on!!!
The chicken curry.
I decided to go full on coastal with this dish; I made a side of kachumbari also known as salsa on the other side of the world. Basically just an easy salad that has of tomatoes, onions and coriander. Seasoned with some salt and black pepper.
This was my end result, very happy with the outcome extremely delicious!!!
As the Swahili people would say “jienjoy!”