East Indians are Bombay’s native Christian community with their own unique cuisine, the star of which is the elusive East Indian Bottle Masala. Families have secret recipes for this fragrant spice mix, made up of over 30 different spices, roasted, ground and usually stored in old beer bottles. This recipe comes from one such family from the original Gaothans in Mumbai.
This recipe serves 4-6
1kg Chicken pieces
4tbs grated coconut or 200 ml coconut milk
4 large chopped onions
4 chopped green
1.5 inch ginger
4 cloves garlic
1 tbs of oil
1 tbs bottle masala
1 or 2 potatoes
Sprinkle salt on 1kg Chicken pieces and set aside.
In a dry pan, toast grated coconut (if using), 4 large chopped onions, 4 chopped green chilis until fragrant. Grind to a paste with 1.5 inch ginger, 4 cloves garlic and a little water.
Heat 1 tbs of oil and add the paste. Add 1 tbs bottle masala and stir. Add the chicken to the pan and coat with the spice paste. Add 1 or 2 potatoes and some water, as much as you like to get the kind of gravy you desire. Cook the chicken till it’s done, around 20 – 30 minutes. If using coconut milk instead of grated coconut, stir in the coconut milk right at the end and bring to a simmer before turning off the heat. Garnish with a squeeze of lime, some coriander and serve with hot rice.
Vegetarians: You can subsitutue the Chicken with Paneer or an array of mixed vegetables.