Hard Chicken curry – (Fowl/Free range chicken/Curry chicken/Gam Kukulu mas/Desi chicken)

hard chicken

Hard chicken is actually fowl or free range old chicken, available only at ethnic butches.  It is more chewy and hard as the bird lives longer  than its’ peers’, after they stop laying eggs.  So, the meat has hardly any fat in it, making it a healthier version of chicken for those who tend to avoid poultry for the same matter.

You need to cook it low and slow to get the right texture, which only comes from following the techniques as well as the ingredients that go into it.  For instance, vinegar and potatoes help in a great deal in softening the meat.

As the bird doesn’t have much fat or flavours, you need to add an extra amount of curry powder to enhance the taste.   Once cooked, adding just a tbsp of coconut milk will give it a surprising levels of flavours.

If you taste it once, you will make it again as it will not let you down in taste.  Try it with rice, rotis, noodles, pasta or bread, which will complement the dish.

What you need to make this dish: Get full hard chicken from the butchers  – Skin out and cut into small pieces to make it easier for cooking.   




Onion 1 big
Ginger and garlic 2 tbsp freshly grated
Whole spices 3 cloves, a cinnamon stick, 3 cardamoms
Maggi coconut milk powder/

or fresh coconut milk

2 tbsp or a bit more
Vinegar 1 tbsp
Small new potatoes 5 peeled and cut into chunks
Roasted curry powder 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Green chili 1 slit
 Salt  1 & 1/2 tsp
Chili powder 2 tsp or more if you desire a spicier taste

Let’s make it:

  • Marinate the chicken pieces with vinegar, salt,  turmeric, chili powder and roasted curry powder, grated ginger, crushed garlic and curry leaves.
  • Cover and keep aside for 30 min.
  • Heat up 2 tbsp of any oil in a wide pan
  • Add the whole spices; cloves, cinnamon, cardamom
  • Add the sliced onion and let it brown
  • Now drop the marinated chicken
  • Stir fry the chicken for nearly 10 mins in Mmdium flame.  This will allow the excess water to evaporate.

hard chicken

  • Close the lid and lower the flame to the minimum.  Splash a little water if the pan is too dry. Let it sit like this for 5 mins. This will let all the juices to ooze out.
  • Open the lid again stir fry for a 5 more mins gathering juices with chicken pieces.
  • Pour water a little above chicken

  • Close and cook for 1/2 hr.
  • Open, give a good stir, check salt and drop the potatoes. If the water level has gone too low, add a little more to bring it just above chicken

  • Close and cook for another 1/2 hr under medium flame
  • Finally, add 2 tbsps of coconut milk, a handful of curry leaves , a slit green chili and cover and cook another 10 mins under very low flame.  This final therapy will give the curry it’s tempting colour and make it more juicier.
  • Let it rest for 20 mins
  • Ready to serve now!
  • Delicious!

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