Author Topic: Swahili flavour - Kuku wa Kupaka (lemon coconut chicken)  (Read 449 times)

Offline JonnyP

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Swahili flavour - Kuku wa Kupaka (lemon coconut chicken)
« on: March 04, 2021, 08:18:53 PM »
So after exploring Ethiopian cuisine for a bit, thought Iíd try and track down a dish from when I lived in Mombasa as a teenager.  Along with the fantastic Indian food (Kenyan chicken and egg curry and prawn masalas are unbeatable), sheesh kebabs/mishkaki/tikka grills and of course nyama choma, there are a couple of Swahili dishes which seem to have been more coastal and therefore used coconut milk (or cream), as well as groundnuts, chillies and bananas (plantain) at times.  One that for some unknown reason nagged me to find a recipe was lemon chicken with a coconut sauce.  Turns out that a few recipes leave out the lemon but serve the dish with lemon, others grill the chicken with lemon and garlic and serve with the coconut sauce, others even add peanuts to the sauce (makes it more like a satay), so I adapted to my memories and worked this up.  It is great (you can adjust chilli quantities to your taste):

First skin your chicken portions - thigh and drumstick work best for this (recipe for 4drum,4thigh), breast would likely end up too dry.

Now wash them then marinate for at least 3 hours in the juice of two lemons, a large teaspoon each of chopped ginger and garlic, and either a chopped green chilli or a teaspoon of chilli powder/flakes (chilli NOT masala).  I prefer to add salt later but you can add a pinch if you want to.

When your chicken has done marinating, remove from the marinade and seal it and brown in a frying pan with oil (sunflower works but any even olive will be fine).

Drop the sealed chicken into a large pan, then cook half a chopped onion, another large teaspoon of garlic and large teaspoon of ginger in the chicken pan.  Once softened and fragrant, add a mix of a half teaspoon turmeric, three teaspoons of cumin/coriander mix and two teaspoons chilli powder (or use two more chillis with the ginger/garlic/onion).  Once fragrant, drop into the chicken pan and make sure everything goes into the big pan.  If you need to, you could deglaze with the rest of the marinade.

Put the large pot on a medium heat and get it all sizzling, if you didnít do so before, add the marinade now.  Mix well and add a can of coconut milk, half a can of chopped tomatos (or one large chopped de-seeded tomato) and bring to a nice bubble.  Cover and cook for another half an hour so the chicken is falling off the bones and the sauce has slightly thickened (it wonít be thicker than what you would get with a Thai curry, quite soup like).

At the end, check the seasoning and serve with roti (as I cannot be bothered to make EA chapatis) and a wedge of lemon which can be squeezed over if people want a bit more lemony-ness
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Offline JonnyP

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Re: Swahili flavour - Kuku wa Kupaka (lemon coconut chicken)
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2021, 08:34:45 PM »
Should have added - serve in bowls as it will run all over a plate!

Dessert was kheer (nutty/cardamom laden rice pudding) with sour cherries.  Not very Swahili but darn tasty
When the sun is dying, we'll cross the causeway of no memory.....

Offline socrates

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Re: Swahili flavour - Kuku wa Kupaka (lemon coconut chicken)
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2021, 02:18:36 PM »
Only saw it now: sounds scrumptious: will definitely be trying it.