Kolhapur is a heritage city located in Maharashtra, India. It used to be a princely Indian state ruled by the Maratha empire prior to Indian Independence in 1947. It is in a hilly range in the western Ghats of India. Kolhapur is known for its ancient forts and temples, artisan & handicraft work, and of course food! Before we explore food, let us take just a few lines to explore the other two. As a princely state of the Maratha empire, Kolhapur has several heritage palaces, forts and temples to reflect about Indian history and its architecture. Here we will take a few extra lines to talk about Kolhapur’s artisan and handicraft work. Kolhapuri artisans produce some of the most exquisite handmade buffalo leather chappals called the Kolhapuri Chappal. These chappals are designed to be open toe with a strap for the big toe. The cuts and art designs are handmade and these chappals are known to use natural vegetable dyes for tanning the leather. In addition to the Kolhapuri Chappal, Kolhapur is known for its traditional style necklaces called Saaj as well as traditional style bracelets, anklets and pendants.
Moving to food, the rich bio diversity of the western Ghats in India is reflected in the Kolhapuri cuisine. Kolhapuri food is fairly hot and uses a good amount of sun-dried red chillies. In fact, Kolhapur has its own variety of dried red chilli called the Kolhapuri Lavangi. The Kolhapuri regional spice blend is nutty and bold as it is aromatic because it uses natural sesame seed, coriander seed, garlic, kolhapuri lavangi chillies, asafoetida, cumin alongside deep aroma spices such as pepper, mace blade, cardamom etc. Our house chef Ramesh has come up with a beautiful Kolhapuri Chicken recipe to try out:
Detailed Recipe ( serves 3-4 people)
1. Add 5 teaspoon of BanyanTree Foods Kolhapuri Curry blend to 400g organic chicken.
2. Add 4 teaspoons of water and mix well. Rest the chicken in the marinade for 30 to 45 minutes.
1. Heat 2 teaspoons coconut fat.
2. Add 2 roughly diced onions (preferably pink onions)
3. Sauté till onions start turning colour
4. Add 5 garlic cloves and 5 cubes of shaved ginger.
5. Add 2 teaspoons BanyanTree Foods Kashmiri Chillies ground.
6. Mix well and blend to a paste.
7. Again, heat up 1 teaspoon of coconut fat
8. Add 2 large chopped tomatoes and sauté till soft and well cooked.
9. Add salt as per taste.
10. Add in the above blended paste and mix well.
11. Add the marinated chicken and mix well.
12. Add 2-3 small cups of water and mix well.
13. Cook up the curry in a closed pan until the chicken is tender and fully cooked.
14. Finally once well cooked, add 2 small cups of coconut milk and stir well. Close and cook for a few more minute
Kolhapuri Chicken is ready ! Best served with rice and bread varieties.