Carved out of ten former districts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangan officially became India's 29th state in June 2014. For this eponymous dish from Telangana home cook Padma Reddy, the skin is removed from the chicken to allow the flavors of the marinade—coconut, lime, garlic, ginger, cardamom, mace and more—to penetrate. This recipe first appeared in the tablet edition of our August/September 2014 special India issue.
- 1 1⁄2 cups coconut milk
- 5 tbsp. plain, full-fat yogurt
- 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp. garam masala
- 1 tsp. red chile powder, preferably Kashmiri, or cayenne
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 (4") piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 3 lb. chicken drumsticks and thighs, skin removed
- 27 fresh or frozen curry leaves, defrosted if frozen
- 8 green cardamom pods
- 1 piece mace (optional)
- 1 star anise
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1⁄4 cup canola or peanut oil
- 3 small green Thai chiles or 1 1/2 serranos, halved
- 2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Purée coconut milk, yogurt, lime juice, garam masala, chile powder, garlic, ginger, and salt in a food processor until smooth; transfer to a bowl. Add chicken, 20 curry leaves, the cardamom, mace, if using, the star anise, and cinnamon; toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
The next day, heat oil in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high. Cook chiles and onions until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mixture to a bowl; set aside. Add chicken and its marinade to pan; boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Stir in chiles and onions; cook 5 minutes more and garnish with cilantro and remaining curry leaves.