Kerala Chicken Curry with Coconut milk

Kerala style chicken curry is an amazingly rich curry made with freshly ground roasted spices and coconut milk . It is perfectly balanced with subtle yet sharp flavours. Have made this numerous time now and is a family favourite. I serve them with roti or pratas however it goes well with steamed rice as well. It is traditionally prepared in coconut oil however any other oil works just fine. I made it using olive oil.


Marination 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 tsp red chili powder (less spicy variety like kashmiri or byadgi) 1⁄4 tsp salt as needed 1⁄4 tsp turmeric 1⁄2 tsp garam masala powder 1/8 tsp pepper powder 1⁄2 kg chicken (500 grams)

Spices to roast (or use any garam masala) 1 1⁄2 tbsp coriander seeds 1 inch cinnamon piece 4 cloves 2 pods cardamom 1⁄4 tsp pepper corn 3⁄4 tsp fennel seeds 1⁄4 tsp cumin (optional) 2 to 4 red chilies or 1⁄4 tsp red chili powder

For gravy 11⁄2 tbsp Coconut oil 3⁄4 cup onions chopped finely (1 large) 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste 3⁄4 cup coconut milk 1⁄2 cup tomatoes (pureed or chopped)

Tempering (optional) 1 1⁄2 tsp coconut oil 1 red chili (break and remove the seeds) 3 to 4 pearl onions sliced thinly (Or shallots) 1 sprig curry leaves


Preparation 1. Marinate chicken with chilli powder, salt, turmeric, pepper and garam masala. Keep aside until you prepare the rest.

Make kerala masala (skip if using ready made masala)

  1. On a low flame dry roast coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper and red chilies until they begin to smell aromatic.

  2. Remove them to a plate and roast fennel seeds along with cumin until both turn aromatic.

  3. Blend all of these to a fine paste with little water. You can also make a fine powder and use.

How to make

  1. Heat coconut oil in a pan, add onions and fry till they turn golden.

  2. Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes off.

  3. Add chicken and fry on a slightly high flame till it turns white in color, for about 3 to 4 mins.

  4. Then add the ground spices or kerala masala & mix well.

  5. Cover and cook on a low flame till the chicken is tender.

  6. Keep stirring in between for even cooking.

  7. Add tomatoes and cook further until the tomatoes loose the raw flavor.

  8. If needed add 1⁄4 cup water. I did not use additional water, the moisture in the chicken and was enough to cook.

  9. Pour the coconut milk. Mix well. If using tinned coconut milk, shake it well and then use.

  10. When the coconut milk begins to bubble cover and simmer for 5 mins. Check salt and adjust as needed.

  11. Heat a small pan with coconut oil and fry onions till they turn pink. Then add curry leaves and red chili. When the leaves turn crisp.

  12. Pour this over the curry.

  13. Serve it with rice, roti or paratha.

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