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I started drafting this post awhile ago and never got to finish it. I was stuck at describing what a shorva is. Many people are not aware of it and even back home, some of my friends didn’t know what it is, until I described it. Once I described, some called it khorma and some called it a pulusu. Pulusu is a tamarind based sauce or gravy and khorma has a thicker consistency than a shorva. I looked up wikipedia to see what it has to say and its description is vague. Some Indian restaurants have shorba on their menu and describe it as a soup. It is a soup with big chucks of meat or vegetables, but the consistency of shorva is not as thin as a soup and it is not as thick as a curry either. It’s consistency is somewhere in between. Unlike a soup, it is served with rice, roties or any Indian bread, just like a curry.
Traditionally, shorva is prepared by cooking meats or vegetables in a yogurt and onion base with spices such as graram masala, dry coconut powder and poppy seeds. Poppy seeds are khus khus in Hindi and gasa gasalu in Telugu. In last 10-15 years, most of us stopped using poppy seeds in daily cooking due to the health risks associated with it and resorted to alternatives such as onion paste or onion tomato paste. I usually fry onions and whole garam masala spices in some oil and grind it to a fine paste. Once in a while when I am bored with the recipe I usually follow, I use poppy seed powder or/and coconut powder.
When I prepared chicken shorva this time, I was out of my magic onion paste, which I used in my mutton shorva, and shrimp curry. I was not in a mood to prepare the onion paste and instead, substituted it with finely chopped onions. It turned out fine.
Total Time: 30 minutes
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
- ½ cup Oil
- ¼ tsp Methi/Fenugreek Powder (opt)
- 1 cup finely chopped Onion
- 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
- Garam Masala Powder (grind 2 cloves, 3 cardamoms, ¼” cinnamon)
- 1 ½ tbsp Coriander Powder
- 2 tsp Chili Powder (adjust to taste)
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 Green Onion chopped
- 2 lbs cleaned and cut Chicken pieces marinated with 2 tsp chili powder+salt to taste + ¼ – ½ cup yogurt
- 1 green onion chopped (opt)
- ¼ cup of chopped Cilantro
- In a sauce pan, heat oil, add onion, methi powder and fry for a minute.
- Add ginger garlic paste, garam masala and cook for a minute or 2 until the ginger garlic paste is fried.
- Add coriander powder, chili powder, turmeric and fry for a minute.
- Add marinated chicken and green onion and cook med high – med flame until chicken is tender. This should take about 10 – 15 minutes.
- Add 1- 1 ½ cups of water (forgot to measure the amount of water I added) and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.
- Serve it with rice, roties, parathas or puri. Some one once suggested serving it with dosas. I am yet to try this combination :).
- I use whole chicken cut up. I recommend you use boned chicken rather than a boneless chicken.
- If you like green chili flavor, when you add water to cooked chicken, add 2-3 jalapeno peppers cut in half or long green chilies slit up and continue to cook. Don’t forget to adjust the chili powder accordingly.