A motorbike holiday in Kerala, India is an unforgettable experience. Kerala is the land of pristine beaches, beautiful lighthouses and mesmerizing greenery. In the state, one is spoilt for choices when it comes to decide the bike route. Ideal trip in Kerala would include a bike ride from Cochin towards the Southern Ghats where a wide variety of wildlife can be seen. All through the way the splendid views of the Tea and rubber plantations and paddy fields keeps the rider motivated. On the other hand a bike route at Southern Western Ghats, Kodaikanal welcomes bikers with open arms. The route shall pass through the famous tea plantations treks of Munnar district. The journey then continues towards Ooty and bikers have are required to ride to a height of 2,000 m into the Nilgiri Hills.
The Nilgiris meaning Blue Mountains derives its name from the wild Neelakurinji flowers which during its flowering season, carpets the whole of the mist-clad hill ranges in a swathe of blue and beckons the tourists to experience the scenic beauty. Neelakurinji flowers bloom once in twelve years can be seen only in this Nilgiri hills.
The Badagas are an indigenous people inhabiting the Nilgiri Hills. During my trip to the Nilgiris, I ate some local dishes of the badaga people. One of them was the Nilgiri chicken, which I would like to share with.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Chicken on Bone cut into medium sized pieces on bone – 750 grams
Yogurt – 6 tablespoons
Oil – 2 tablespoons
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
A few thin strips of ginger for garnishing
A few quarters of cherry tomatoes for garnishing
Spinach blanched – 1 medium bunch
Fresh mint leaves roughly chopped – 1/2 bunch
Fresh coriander leaves roughly chopped – 1/2 bunch
Green chillies roughly chopped – 2
Fennel seeds – 1 teaspoon
Scraped fresh coconut 1 cup
- For the paste, put spinach, mint leaves, coriander leaves, green chillies, fennel seeds and coconut with a little water in a mixer jar and grind to a fine paste.
- Finely chop onions. Heat oil in a deep non-stick pan; add cloves and onions and sauté for a minute.
- Add ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chicken and salt and mix well. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes. Add the ground paste and mix well.
- Add yogurt and mix well. Cover and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Transfer into a serving bowl and serve hot garnished with ginger and tomatoes.