I have a liking for offal meat – gizzards, tripe, trotters, brains, kidney. Though I don’t buy them often for home cooking (my wife has biased tastes towards offal meat), I never miss a chance to eat if I am offered, or if it is available on a restaurant’s menu that I can trust. The best chicken gizzard dish I have had are the yakitori’s (sunagimo) in Tokyo. My Japanese friends used to take me for rounds of sake and yakitori when I worked there for couple of weeks in 2006.
When I came to the US I tried my hand at fried chicken gizzards. As much as I love soul food, I just could not come to terms with the fried gizzards. Though I liked them, the dish was just too heavy for me. I fell back to my mom’s recipe. She does not have a particular liking for gizzards, but once in a while she would make it for me.
The dish she makes is light on dry spices and oil. There is more emphasis on fresh ingredients – onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and and green chillies. The dish is always finished with a sprinkle of fresh ground cumin. I have tweaked her recipe a bit, mainly to save time. She dices the gizzards into small pieces, after sauteing the spices, adds the gizzards and simmers them till they are cooked. Gizzards can take considerable time to cook over normal cooking temperature and pressure — about 45 minutes to an hour. I just cannot afford that much time, so I pressure cook. It takes about 15 minutes. I add then saute the spices and stir fry the cooked gizzards in them.
1. 1 pound of chicken gizzards
2. 2 bay leafs
3. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
4. 1 fine chopped onion
5. 1 diced medium-sized tomato
6. 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
7. 1/4 teaspoon ground garlic
8. 1 jalapeno
9. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin
11. 2 tablespoon oil
13. 1 cup water
Wash the gizzards well and make sure that the inner skin in the gizzard is taken off. It will be in light-olive green in color and can be easily pealed off the gizzard. The skin is very bitter and will ruin the dish.
Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pressure cooker pan, and fry the bay leaves. Add the gizzards, turmeric powder and water. Bring it to boil, and add salt. Close the pressure cooker and once the pressure builds in, cook for 15 minutes. If you are using a sauce pan or stock pot, cover and simmer the gizzards for at least 45 minutes. I have cooked gizzards for an hour and half till they became tender.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a saute pan/skillet and fry the onions till they are soft and slightly golden brown. Add the gizzards along with the stock water and cook on high heat till the sauce thickens. Add ginger and garlic paste, and tomatoes and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. All the liquids would have evaporated by now leaving back a thick sauce. Add the jalapenos, cook for one minute and then add the cumin powder.
Note:- Since there is minimal oil, and the cooking is done on a high heat, please continuously stir the dish. Otherwise the gizzards will stick to the bottom of the pan.
Serve with rice, parathas/porota or enjoy as a snack.