This mouth watering authentic dish is a specialty at the Kenyan coast whereby chicken is cooked in a spicy coconut sauce. It is a perfect illustration of how the Swahili people intermingle with Arabs and Indians in terms of cooking in the coastal region… Hear is a simple recipe of how to enjoy kuku wa kupaka at Home!
8-10 pieces of chicken ( I personally suggest skinless chicken breasts or thighs)
Fresh ginger, peeled and minced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
3 green chilies, chopped (can be eliminated for a milder dish or substituted for sweet bell pepper)
Juice of one fresh lime
1/4 Cup vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 fresh tomatoes, washed and sliced
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon curry powder / turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cups of thick coconut milk
salt and freshly grounded pepper to taste
fresh chopped Coriander for garnishing
Marinate chicken pieces in ginger, garlic, rosemary, chilies, Lime juice, salt and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil then set aside covered. (For better authentic results always leave the chicken for 1-2 hours before grilling it).Set aside the remaining marinade as you can use it later on the sauce.
Grill chicken pieces in charcoal or oven for 30 minutes
Heat vegetable oil in a large pan and saute finely chopped onions till light brown, add sliced tomatoes and on a medium heat simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste for another minute then add curry powder/turmeric and cumin seeds, stir and mix thoroughly for 5 minutes
Add coconut milk and the remaining marinade you used for the chicken (If there’s any left). Lower the heat and stir the sauce for about 5 minutes till its very thick. Season with salt and freshly grounded pepper
Add grilled chicken into the sauce and simmer while covered for 30 minutes until the chicken is done and tender like i did on the photo above
Place grilled chicken in a serving dish (One that can be used in an oven) pour some of the thick coconut sauce over and put the dish in a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Check from time to time.
Garnish with fresh chopped coriander!
Serve with Rice, Chapati or Mahamri..
This method can also be used for Samaki wa kupaka (Fish in coconut sauce)
Some recipes add potatoes or hard-boiled egg to the sauce, simply boil coarsely chopped potatoes separately and add them to the sauce towards the end.