Chicken Fry aka Kodi Vepudu is a popular Andhra restaurant style side where chicken is marinated and cooked until tender. Later it is stir fried briefly with aromatics like curry leaves and spices for a burst of flavors. Kodi in Telugu translates to chicken and vepudu to fry. This post shares 2 ways to make Chicken Fry – stir fried dish and deep fried. I also have the instructions to air fry the second version.
The stir fried version goes fantastic with plain steamed rice and rasam or/and a vegetable curry on the side. The deep fried version is great as a snack or appetizer & it can also be served on the side with a South Indian meal. This Chicken Fry turns out super crispy from outside and so tender and juicy from Inside.
In Indian Cuisine, the term “Fry” may mean a stir fry or a deep fry. When you visit an Andhra restaurant it so happens that everyone asks if it is a stir fry chicken or a deep fry chicken.
Well, whatever you choose, here on this page you can find both. You can use boneless or bone-in chicken for both the recipes. But I recommend using boneless for the fried version.
The stir fry version is a copycat of a dish served in a popular Andhra restaurant in Singapore. We would order that a lot of times because it was so delicious and had those unique Andhra flavors. I tried to recreate the same after a conversation with the people over there.
This was a decade ago and the restaurant still serves the dish but it no longer tastes the same. If you love the authentic flavors of Andhra cuisine you will surely love this chicken fry (kodi vepudu).
How to make Chicken Fry (Stir fry, Stepwise Photos)
For this recipe I make a separate chicken fry masala powder that actually elevates the flavors a lot. If you want you may make it from the ingredients mentioned here or use any store bought chicken masala or meat masala. But the flavors will be different.
1. To make the chicken fry masala, on a medium heat dry roast the following spices in a steel pan until aromatic. Later cool, make a fine powder and use all of the masala in the recipe.
- 2 tablespoons Coriander seeds
- 2 inch Ceylon Cinnamon piece
- 6 Cloves – laung
- 4 green cardamom – elachi
- ½ teaspoon Jeera – cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon Fennel seeds – saunf (optional, leave out if you don’t like)
2. Add the following ingredients to a large pot (intend to cook in the same pot):
- ½ kg chicken (bone-in or boneless)
- 1½ tablespoons Lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon red chili powder (Kashmiri for low heat)
- 1½ teaspoons garam masala (or chicken fry masala from this post)
- 1 large onion (or 2 medium, coarsely pulsed in grinder or chopper)
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (or crushed)
- 1 tablespoon ghee (solid, use 2 tbsp if melted)
- ½ teaspoon salt
3. Pour 2 tablespoons water. Mix well to marinate the chicken. Place the pot on the stove and begin to cook on a medium heat. Chicken will begin to ooze out moisture, cover and cook on a low heat until the chicken is soft and almost fully cooked. Once done you will still see some liquids in the pot. It is just okay to retain that and as we are going to evaporate it while stir frying.
4. While the chicken cooks, powder 12 cashew nuts in a small grinder and keep aside. Alternately you may use 2 to 3 tablespoons almond flour.
Fry the Chicken
5. Heat a large wide pan with 1 tablespoon oil. Add a spring of curry leaves (pat dry first) and 2 to 3 chopped or slit green chilies (deseed for low heat if you want). Let fry until the curry leaves turn crisp and the green chilies blister. Transfer the chicken along with all the leftover stock or masala.
6. Regulate the flame to medium high and sprinkle cashew powder or almond flour and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Cook until all of the excess liquid evaporates. Taste test and add more salt if you want. If you want add more garam masala to your taste. With my homemade masala you won’t need anything more.
7. Fry the chicken along with the thick masala for 3 to 4 minutes until it begins to smell aromatic. The masala should coat the chicken. If the pan looks too dry, you may add a little ghee to the hot pan.
Garnish chicken fry with fresh coriander leaves. Sprinkle some lemon juice and serve with rice and rasam/curry alongside sliced onions, carrots and cucumbers.
How to make Chicken Fry (Deep fry, Stepwise Photos)
There are so many ways a chicken fry is made but this one is the simplest made with basic ingredients. This chicken fry recipe yields chicken bites that are crisp from outside and soft and juicy inside.
There is no egg used but there is a small amount of yogurt. It tenderizes the chicken, keeps it juicy and prevents it from turning hard & chewy. This chicken fry is best served hot but keeps crisp for about 30 minutes. You can also prepare them ahead and crisp them in an electric oven.
200 grams chicken thighs or breast (1 by 1 inch boneless cubes)
¾ tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder (reduce for low heat)
¾ to 1 tsp garam masala
½ to 1 tsp coriander powder
¼ to ½ tsp pepper powder
10 curry leaves (chopped or replace with any herbs)
¼ to ½ tsp salt (i use 1/2 tsp)
2 tbsp yogurt (thick curd or dahi)
3 tbsp corn flour (corn starch)
oil for deep frying
1. Add chicken cubes to a mixing bowl. I cubed them to one by one inch size. Add garlic ginger paste, garam masala, red chilli powder, coriander powder, salt, pepper powder, yogurt and curry leaves. You can substitute curry leaves with any of your favorite herbs like mint.
2. Add corn flour. To substitute corn flour you can try with rice flour and plain flour in equal quantities.
3. Mix everything well to coat the chicken well with the batter. If the batter is too dry, splash some water. & If using chicken thighs, you can fry them right away. If using chicken breasts rest for a minimum of 1 hour in the refrigerator. Leave in on the counter for another 30 mins so you don’t have to fry the cold chicken.
Make Crispy Chicken Fry
After the resting time, the marinade turns very thick as the corn starch absorbs moisture. If needed you can sprinkle 1 tbsp water and mix it well. Do not add a lot otherwise the chicken will not be crispy.
4. Heat oil in a kadai. Check if the oil is hot by dropping a little amount of the batter to the oil. It has to rise slowly to the surface without turning dark and it should not sink. Gently slide the chicken cubes one by one with a spoon or fork to the hot oil. Make sure the pieces are coated well with batter.
5. Fry on a medium heat. Do not disturb the pieces for 1 to 2 minutes. Keep stirring and fry until golden and crisp. When the chicken is cooked completely you will see that the bubbles in the oil reduce.
Remove them to a steel colander. Serve chicken fry with fresh cut onion and lemon slices.
Chicken Fry Recipe
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 to 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
- 1 to 2 sprig curry leaves
- 2 to 3 green chilies slit or chopped
- ½ teaspoon black pepper powder (adjust to taste)
- 12 cashew nuts powdered finely (or 2 to 3 tbsps. almond flour)
- 1 tablespoons Coriander leaves chopped finely
- ½ kg (1.1 lbs.) chicken (bone-in or boneless thighs or breasts)
- 1½ tablespoons Lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoons red chili powder (reduce for low heat)
- 1 large onion (or 2 medium, coarsely pulsed in grinder/mixer)
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon ghee solid (or use 2 tbsp if melted)
- ½ teaspoon salt (more to adjust later)
Garam masala powder (or use store bought)
- 2 tablespoons Coriander seeds
- 2 inch cinnamon piece (Ceylon cinnamon, reduce to use cassia)
- 6 cloves
- 4 green cardamom
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
- Optional – To make garam masala, dry roast all the whole spices on a medium heat until aromatic and crunchy. Make a fine powder.
- Add chicken to a large pot along with 2 tablespoons water. Add crushed onions, ginger garlic paste, garam masala, chili powder, salt, turmeric, ghee and lemon juice.
- On a medium flame, cook the chicken till it is soft cooked and tender. Little water can be added while cooking if the chicken turns dry. Once done, turn off the heat. Excess moisture in the pot at this stage is alright.
- If you want you may cool this and refrigerate immediately. Fry the chicken only when required, for up to 2 days.
How to make Chicken Fry
- Heat oil or ghee in a pan, add curry leaves and green chilies.
- Fry till the leaves turn crisp and aromatic.
- Add the cooked chicken along with the stock/ masala. Add the cashew powder and pepper powder.
- Fry on a medium high flame till all the excess moisture is evaporated.
- Keep stirring well and fry for 3 to 4 mins or till you get a nice aroma of cashews. The masala should coat the chicken well. If you want add little ghee at this stage.
- Garnish chicken fry with fresh chopped coriander leaves. Sprinkle some lemon juice and serve hot with rice, rasam or any vegetable curry.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
Video of Crispy Chicken Fry recipeI have shared the written recipe in the post.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me
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