Kerala chicken recipe – A simple & delicious dish made by simmering chicken in fresh ground kerala spice powder & coconut milk. Kerala cuisine is well known for its unique flavors, delicious taste & simplicity. This kerala nadan curry is no exception to it.
This simple chicken curry has an amazing burst of flavors from the fresh ground roasted spices & the tempering touch that’s given with the fresh curry leaves.
Years ago I happened to try this and just got hooked to it forever. Made it time & again and have always been complimented by my folks.
Preparation for Kerala chicken
1. Marinate chicken with garam masala, salt, turmeric , red chili powder and pepper. Set aside for about 30 to 45 minutes.
2. Dry roast the dry spices and cool them. Make a fine powder and add little water and make a paste.Set aside.
How to make
3. Add coconut oil to a hot pan and fry onions till lightly golden.Then add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes off.
4. Add the marinated chicken and fry for 3 to 4 minutes on a high flame. Pour the ground garam masala paste, Mix well.
5. Cook covered on a medium to low flame till the chicken is cooked completely. Pour thin coconut milk.
6. Simmer for 5 minutes. Check salt and adjust as needed. Heat a small pan with coconut oil for tempering. Add onions and fry till they turn pink. Add curry leaves and broken chili. when they turn crisp. Switch off the stove.
7. Pour this tempering over the curry.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- ¼ to ½ tsp red chili powder (less spicy variety like kashmiri or byadgi)
- ¼ tsp salt as needed
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- 1/8 tsp pepper powder
- ½ kg chicken (500 grams)
Spices to roast (or use any garam masala)
- 1 ½ tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 inch cinnamon piece
- 4 cloves
- 2 pods cardamom
- ¼ tsp pepper corn
- ¾ tsp fennel seeds
- ¼ tsp cumin (optional)
- 2 to 4 red chilies or ¼ tsp red chili powder (less heat variety like kashmiri or byadgi)
- 1½ tbsp Coconut oil
- ¾ cup onions chopped finely (1 large)
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- ¾ cup coconut milk (thin milk)
- ½ cup tomatoes (pureed or chopped) (optional)
- 1 ½ tsp coconut oil
- 1 red chili (break and remove the seeds)
- 3 to 4 pearl onions sliced thinly (Or shallots)
- 1 sprig curry leaves
How to make the recipe
- 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)
- On a low flame dry roast coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper and red chilies until they begin to smell aromatic.
- Remove them to a plate and roast fennel seeds along with cumin until both turn aromatic.
- Blend all of these to a fine paste with little water. You can also make a fine powder and use.
How to make
- Heat coconut oil in a pan, add onions and fry till they turn golden.
- Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes off.
- Add chicken and fry on a slightly high flame till it turns white in color, for about 3 to 4 mins.
- Then add the ground spices or kerala masala & mix well.
- Cover and cook on a low flame till the chicken is tender.
- Keep stirring in between for even cooking.
- Optional – If using tomatoes, then add at this stage and cook further until the tomatoes loose the raw flavor.
- If needed add ¼ cup water. I did not use additional water, the moisture in the chicken and was enough to cook.
- Pour the coconut milk. Mix well. If using tinned coconut milk, shake it well and then use.
- When the coconut milk begins to bubble cover and simmer for 5 mins. Check salt and adjust as needed.
- 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.
- Pour this over the curry.
- Serve it with rice, roti or paratha.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.