Mappas is a traditional Kerala dish commonly made with any meat like Chicken, Duck, Mutton or even Beef. It is usually served with Appam, Rice, Puttu , Chappati or Paratha. The meat is cooked with spices like Turmeric, Coriander and Garam masala in a thick creamy coconut gravy with curry leaves. The original version of this dish does not call for any vegetables but I always like to try new things to make food more healthy and colorful. Therefore my version contains some vegetables like Carrot, Potatoes and Collard greens in it. If you don't have Collard greens you could substitute with Green peas or Spinach.
Today I decided that I did not want to serve the usual late lunch, so I started working on this dish soon after breakfast and the daily phone calls to my mom and sister were wrapped up. I was done cooking well before lunch time, giving me ample time for my blog photo shoots. Feeling pleased at the bright sunny day outside, I started setting up the photography gear and the various accessories and backdrops for my photos. My assistant (my 2 year old) also seems to be in great spirits as she sees me taking out all her 'No-Touching' or 'Forbidden' items from my basket. The dish had turned out well and I was excited to take some good pictures. My daughter was trying to give her 2 cents by picking the different colored napkins, stating the colors aloud and suggesting which I should be using, totally amazing me at the independent opinions a 2 year old little lady could have on how I should be arranging my photo scene. Many pictures and arrangements later, I had totally lost track of time, not paying attention to the hunger cues that my daughter was trying to communicate until she just suddenly put her hand into the bowl of chicken and started licking her fingers..yes- she did it !!! Totally angry and frustrated, I take her to the washroom, but glancing up at the clock I realize that it was late for her lunch again. So much for all that planning but I guess it was worth it all !!
2 1/4 Lb - Chicken (I used spilt breast)
3 - Carrot, diced
2 - Potato
6 stalks - Collard Greens, chopped OR 1/2 C - Green Peas
1 - Onion
2 inch - Fresh Ginger, cut into thin strips
6 cloves - Garlic, minced
3 Tbsp - Coriander powder
2 Tsp - Chilly powder
1/2 Tsp - Turmeric powder
1/2 Tsp - Black Pepper powder
1 Tsp - Garam Masala
1 Can (approx 400gm)- Coconut milk (I used lite version of Thai Kitchen)
1 1/2 Tsp - Corn Starch (optional)
For Seasoning / Tadka
1 Tsp - Ghee
8 - Shallots
1/8 - Roasted Fenugreek powder / Uluva podi
A pinch - Asafetida
- Heat oil in a pan and add onions, ginger and garlic. Saute until the onions are golden brown.
- In a bowl add coriander powder,chilly powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and pepper with some water just enough to make a paste.
- Add the spice paste to the sauteed onions and cook for 5 minutes
- Add chicken and mix well. Add just enough water to cover the chicken. Add the potatoes, carrots and salt and mix well. Cover and cook until the chicken is almost done.
- Open and add the chopped collard greens or green peas and cook until they are tender.
- When the collard greens are done, add the coconut milk and cook for another 2 minutes.
- If you desire a thicker gravy, add the corn starch mixed with water to the boiling gravy. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- In a separate pan heat some ghee and add thinly sliced shallots and curry leaves. Saute until the onions are dark brown. Add roasted fenugreek powder/uluva podi and asafetida and saute for a minutes and remove from heat. Add this tadka to the chicken. Serve hot
Note and Tips
- You can make the meat-only version by excluding the vegetables.
- You can substitute the coconut milk with fat free milk powder and water to make a lighter version of this dish
- If you cant find Collard greens, you can use green peas or spinach instead
- Use red onions for more flavor.