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Spicy Chicken and Tomato Casserole

Friday mornings, are one of my best childhood memories from my Grandma and Grandpa's house in the the moshav. Grandma was waking up very early the smells of cooking were spread all over the whole house.

Red Chicken - that's how we called it as kids. Originally, it was called Mullvo Erchi (Mullvo = bones, Erchi = meat) because they used to make it from the chicken parts that had small amount of meat and more bones.

In India they used to eat chicken only on weekends, for the simple reason that there was no "Shohet" available during weekdays. And on the weekends the "shohet" came from one village to another and made a "kosher" slaughter for Shabbat.

At Grandma's on Friday, we didn't wait for Friday dinner and when the red chicken was ready, at the same time the Appam bread that was slowly baked in a "miracle pot" on the gas was ready as well, and we found ourselves taking a piece of Appam and dipping it into the sauce of the red chicken and enjoying the moment...

Even today, when I cook Cochini food on Fridays, my children and I usually do the same, because eating directly from the pots tastes the best!

If we had Instagram back then, there is no doubt that the Appam with the Red Chicken would have starred in the pictures just as today Instagram on Fridays is full of pictures of challah with schnitzel, matbucha and eggplant.

One of my challenges in this blog, is not only to reproduce recipes and vanished tastes , but also to make good photos and through the pictures convey my memories as a child as if it was today.

It is important to cut the chicken into small pieces so that each part absorbs the flavors into it. You can make the red chicken not only from the parts with the bones, you can of course also with pullets or any part you like. But there is no doubt that the bones give the dish its special aroma and flavors.

Tip for shortcuts: you can mix all the ingredients and place them in a pan, cover with baking paper and on top of that foil paper, bake in the oven at 200 degrees for an hour and a half, then remove the cover and bake for another half an hour, stirring occasionally. I tried and it was very successful!

Ingredients :

1 whole chicken cut into small pieces

2 onions cut into slices

4 cloves of garlic cut into slices

1 green chili pepper cut into strips

5-6 finely chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

1 heaping tablespoon of tamarind (optional)

3 potatoes cut into cubes

5-6 tablespoons of sunflower oil or other frying oil

tablespoon vinegar (optional)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon hot paprika

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon of ground coriander (preferably seeds that you have weighed in a pan and ground in a coffee grinder!)



  1. Heat the oil in a wide pot

  2. Add the onion and fry until lightly golden

  3. Add the garlic and fry lightly

  4. Add the chicken pieces and cook on a low flame until the chicken changes its shade to white

  5. Add the hot pepper pieces and the vinegar and mix well.

  6. Add the tomatoes, the tamarind and bring to a boil and lower the heat

  7. Add the potatoes

  8. Add all the spices and the tomato paste and cook on a low flame for another 45 minutes to an hour.

  9. The potatoes can be fried first, and only then put them in the stew - it is of course much tastier, but only optional.

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