Prepare time: 25 min
Cook: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hr 10 min
This simple dish, often called kuku na nazi, is a fabulous chicken coconut curry made in Kenya. It is a perfect illustration of how African, Arab and Indian influences meld in the coastal region.
- Chicken, cut into pieces — 3 pounds
- Onion, chopped — 1
- Hot chile peppers, chopped — 2 or 3
- Ginger, peeled and chopped — 2 tablespoons
- Garlic, chopped — 2 tablespoons
- Oil or ghee — 1/4 cup
- Curry powder — 1 tablespoon
- Cumin seeds — 2 teaspoons
- Chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce — 2 cups
- Coconut milk — 2 cups, or 1 (15-ounce) can
- Salt and pepper — to taste
- Cilantro, chopped — 1/2 cup
- Add the onion, chiles, ginger and garlic to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add a little water if necessary.
- Heat the oil or ghee in a large pot or wok over medium flame.
- Add the onion puree, curry powder and cumin and sauté, stirring frequently, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until cooked down.
- Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the chicken, coconut milk, salt and pepper.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through and tender, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
- Add more water as needed.
- Stir in the cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve with with rice or chapatti.
Variations For Kuku Paka
- For authentic flavor, grill the chicken pieces before stirring them into the simmering sauce. If you like, you can also use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs.
- Some recipes add potatoes or hard-boiled eggs to the curry.
- The potatoes can be cooked ahead, cut into chunks and stirred into the curry toward the end.
- Eliminate the hot chilies for a milder dish. Or substitute a chopped sweet bell pepper.
- Reserve some of the coconut cream that gathers at the top of the can and stir it into the sauce at the very end for extra silky results.