Mangalore is a port town just off Goa on the west coast of India. The cuisine of Mangalore is very distinctive and reflects the diverse communities of this region. Coconut and curry leaves feature heavily as the food here is influenced by South Indian cuisine.
I have used a rather uncommon spice in my version. It is called stone flower (Pathar ke phool in Hindi or Rathi puvvu in Telugu – it is a dried lichen with the scientific name of Parmotrema perlatum. This has a distinct floral aroma and used generally in meat stews but works well in this dish.
1 kg boneless chicken thighs, cut in half
100g onion, chopped
1 sprig curry leaf
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
4 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
150g grated coconut, (if frozen, thaw first)
4 plump garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
5 centimetre piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
6 dried Kashmiri chillies