Chicken – 1 lb (I’ve used chicken with bones) cut into bite sized pieces
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Ginger & garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Oil – 1/4 cup
Mustard seeds (avalu) – 1 tsp
Coriander seeds (dhaniyalu) – 1 1/2 tbsp
Cumin seeds (jeera) – 1/4 tsp
Cloves (lavangalu) – 10
Cardamom pods (elaichi) – 3
Cinnamon stick (dalchini) – 1 inch
Poppy seeds (gasagasalu) – 2 tbsps
Large Lemon – 1 (Squeeze the juice and set aside)
Red chilly powder – 1/4 (adjust according to spice level)
Salt to taste
1) Wash chicken pieces under running water and drain.
2) In a bowl mix together ginger garlic paste, turmeric. Add washed chicken pieces to this mixture and coat well.
3) Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan/kadhai, reduce the heat to medium and add chicken to it. mix gently, cover the pan with a lid for 2 mts.
4) Remove the lid and on medium low flame allow the chicken to fry till golden brown. Keep stirring in between such that all the pieces are evenly cooked and colored. Do not overfry the chicken as this turns the pieces hard to chew. Light golden brown color would be good.
5) Once the chicken is fried, set aside and allow it to cool. Meanwhile dry fry all the spices individually (mustard seeds, coriander seeeds, cumin seeds, cloves, elaichi, dalchini and poppy seeds) on low flame till nice aroma comes out. Do not burn them (the pickle would turn bitter if spices are over burnt)
6) Once done allow the spices to cool off and grind all spices together to a fine powder.
7) Heat the squeezed lime juice on low flame for 10 seconds (Do not overheat). Alternatively you could warm it for 10 seconds in a microwave. Adding fresh lime juice will not let the pickle stay fresh for long time and thats why we want it to be warm.
8) Now add ground spice powder(do not add entire powder at once, instead add in small quantities and adjust according to your spice levels), dried red chilly powder, to the fried chicken and mix well. Add lemon juice and adjust salt.
9) If the pickle looks too dry a little bit of oil could be added. Its not required to heat oil at this point of time.
10) Leave the pickle in the bowl for an hour and transfer it into a closed jar. This pickle stays fresh for a month even if not refrigerated. If you are not refrigerating the pickle and leaving it outdoors, make sure the pickle is covered with good amount of oil floating on top. It can be eaten on the day of preparation itself. Serve it with steamed rice. Also goes well with dosas and idlys too.