Goan Coconut Chicken

The inspiration for this recipe is a dish from Goa, the former Portuguese enclave on the west coast of India, a place that has developed its own unique style of cuisine. Known in Portuguese as Fugado de Repolho, or steamed cabbage with coconut, it is a popular traditional dish with variations up and down the shores of the Indian Ocean. The original dish is vegetarian, like so many dishes of the sub-continent, but I have added a little chicken to give the body that I prefer. It can also be prepared very satisfactorily using thinly sliced lean pork [preferably sirloin or, even better, fillet]. The capsicum is non-traditional; I added it to provide a little colour.

½ cup cooking oil [coconut oil is ideal, but olive oil works quite well].
250g diced lean chicken meat.
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced.
4 cloves garlic, chopped.
1 fresh green chilli, seeded and finely chopped [or to taste].
½ tsp ground ginger.
4 cups thinly sliced cabbage.
½ red capsicum, seeded and thinly sliced.
1 160ml can coconut milk.
Salt to taste.
¼ cup desiccated coconut to garnish.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan or wok over a hot flame. Add the meat and stir fry until cooked. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes but do not brown. Add the garlic, chilli and ground ginger and stir fry for 30 seconds then add the cabbage, capsicum, coconut milk and salt. Stir until well mixed, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve immediately garnished with the desiccated coconut and with rice on the side.

Serves: 2.

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