Agri cuisine may not be known to the whole world, but its hot ń spicy non-vegetarian dishes are very popular among Maharashtrian food lovers.
Agri people, who are the natives of coastal part of Western Maharashtra, make their chicken recipe in quite unique style with their own secret spices.
The main ingredients that you’d need to prepare this Agri chicken come from the coastal regions of India. And, these ingredients are nothing but Coconut and Dry Spices.
Its preparation style is similar to other lip-smacking chicken recipes like Malvani Sagoti Chicken and Kolhapuri Tambda Rassa, but I’m certain that you would be able distinguish the key differences while relishing this rustic dish.
Since the arrival of Chinese food and multi-cuisine culture, many of our Indian traditional recipes are now on the verge of getting lost into oblivion. And unfortunately, Agri chicken also comes under the same category.
Hence, I thought I should feature it on this blog so that those who care about such recipes will keep it alive in their kitchens.
Like most of the chicken dishes, you will have to prepare a couple of things in advance. Read these tips to make your job a bit easier –
Marinated Chicken –
For this curry, it’s better to marinate the chicken with all the spices. Let’s see how it should be done –
- Get the chicken pieces in a bowl.
- Add the lemon juice (1 tablespoon), red chilli powder (1 teaspoon), turmeric powder (1 teaspoon) and ginger garlic paste (1 tablespoon). Rub these spices over the chicken pieces.
- Keep it in the refrigerator for an hour or two.
Note – The spices used for this marination are not included in the ingredients section.
Roasted Coconut –
Coconut generally helps in reducing the excess heat content in any of your curry dishes. When you roast the desiccated dry coconut with little bit of oil in the pan, it also brings nice flavor and taste to the curries, especially non-veg. curries.
Try the same recipe with fresh coconut paste, and you will understand the difference.
Note – Roast the coconut till it becomes light golden brown. Don’t brown it completely, as it adds bitterness to the curry.
Vatan, a paste of different ingredients, is required for this recipe. Follow these quick recipe steps –
- In a hot frying pan, add the ginger (2 teaspoon, roughly chopped), garlic pods, (4-5), green chillies (1-2), onion (1-1/2, sliced into juliennes) and desiccated dry coconut (1 cup).
- Roast these ingredients together till they get the light brown color.
- Add 1 teaspoon of oil in it and stir again for 1-2 minutes. Take the mixture out in a grinder.
- Grind these ingredients to a slightly coarse paste. Add some water if needed.
Use this paste directly in the following recipe. If you make excess paste, use it for South Indian roast curries or any other recipes. Store it in the freezer, but don’t keep for more than 4-5 days.
Now, let’s learn to make Agri style chicken at home kitchen –
Total Time – 50 minutes + 2 hours for marination
Serves – 3-4 people
- Chicken – 500 gm, with bones
- Onions – 1, medium sized, finely chopped
- Tomato – 1, medium sized, finely chopped
- Ginger-Garlic Paste – 2 tablespoon
- Turmeric Powder – 1 teaspoon
- Red Chilli Powder – 1-1/2 teaspoon (Byadagi Chilli Powder)
- Agri Garam Masala Powder or Regular Garam Masala Powder – 2 teaspoon
- Vatan – 3 tablespoon (Read the Preparation Tips section for its recipe)
- Bay Leaf – 1
- Yogurt – 2 tablespoon (Optional)
- Coriander Leaves – 2 tablespoon, finely chopped
- Oil – 2-3 tablespoon
- Salt to taste
1. Heat oil in a kadai or wok on medium flame.
2. In hot oil, add the bay leaf and remaining ginger-garlic paste. Fry this paste till the raw smell goes away.
3. Add the chopped onions and salt. Stir-fry them for 3-4 minutes.
4. When the onions turn translucent, add the chopped tomatoes. Mix them well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
5. Now, add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, Vatan (3 tablespoon) and beaten yogurt into it. Mix it nicely with onion-tomato base. Cook again for 2-3 minutes under the lid.
(Note – Adjust the spices as per your taste.)
6. When you see oil leaving the edges of this mixture, add the marinated chicken. Stir it gently and make sure the masala is coated well on all the pieces. Cover it with the lid and cook for 20-25 minutes on low-medium flame.
(Don’t forget to stir this gravy in the intervals, and add water as per your preferred consistency.)
7. Add the Agri garam masala powder and stir again. Cook the chicken for another 2-3 minutes under the lid.
8. Open the lid and garnish it with the copped coriander leaves.
Serve the Agri chicken curry with hot rice bhakri, sliced onion & lemon. Its gravy version can also be served with steamed rice.
Variations for Agri Chicken
These following varieties require almost all the ingredients that we’ve used in the above recipe. So, do try them out.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, the recipe of Agri chicken is not much different other regional chicken curries. Therefore, it is possible to make Malvani chicken with most of the ingredients used in this recipe.
In Malvani chicken, they use lots of dry spices in their Vatan recipe. So, you will have to make those changes accordingly. Also, they use their own Malvani masala instead of just simple red chilli powder in this curry.
Fortunately, Malvani masala is now available in most of the Maharashtrian grocery stores. You can purchase this masala to get the authentic taste for your dish.
Chicken Chettinad can also be made with some twists to our original Agri chicken curry.
Both these recipes require coconut paste and limited amount spices as compared to Malvani chicken. So, the Chettinad style chicken is much easier to prepare with Agri chicken ingredients.
Whenever I come across these type of recipes, I really feel excited to try them out in my kitchen. And, I’m sure you’d be feeling the same with this recipe now.
Agri chicken is considered as one of the most fiery chicken dishes in Maharashtrian cuisine, but you can certainly omit the unnecessary spices if you can’t handle them. You may also try ghee in place of oil to tone down the extra heat.
There are many ways through which you could easily balance this dish. And, I’m sure it will still taste as great as you’d have it in any Agri cuisine restaurant.
So, give it a shot and let me know how it tastes. I’d love to hear some feedback from your side.