Kerala Chicken Curry

Kerala Chicken Curry is a spicy traditional basic chicken preparation. It is served with rice, chapati or poratta. Learn how to prepare yummy chicken curry.


  • Chicken- 1 kg, cut and cleaned
  • Big onions- 5, medium sized
  • Tomatoes- 4, sliced

To Marinate

  • Turmeric powder- 3/4 tsp
  • Green chillies- 3 slit lengthwise until 3/4th
  • Kashmiri red chilly powder – 2 tsps
  • Pepper powder- 3/4 tsp
  • Salt- 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig

To Saute and Grind for the Gravy

  • Coconut Oil- 2-3 tbsps
  • Big Onions – 6 medium sized, sliced thin lengthwise
  • Tomatoes – 4, sliced thin

To grind to a smooth paste (raw ingredients for the masala)

  • Garlic cloves – 6-8 nos
  • Ginger – 3-4 tsp,chopped
  • Cinnamon sticks – 2 one inch pieces
  • Cloves – 5-6 nos
  • Cardamom pods – 3 peeled
  • Fennel seeds /perunjeerakam- 2 tsps
  • Black peppercorn – 10 nos or 3/4 tsp powdered pepper
  • Coriander powder – 2 tbsps
  • Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri red chilly powder – 3 tsps
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Salt – to taste

For Seasoning

  • Coconut Oil- 2 tbsps
  • Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Green chillies- 3-4, slit lengthwise until 3/4th
  • Turmeric Powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Kashmiri red chilly powder- 2 tsps
  • Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
  • Coconut shavings- 1 cup (grind to a smooth paste adding enough water)


  • Marinate chicken with the ingredients given in the “to marinate” list.
  • Grind masala.
  • Heat 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil in a wide kadai and sauté the sliced onions till translucent adding half a tsp salt.
  • Sauté along the tomato slices.
  • Turn off when it cooks and turns to a mushy mass.
  • Cool and grind to a smooth paste.
  • Heat 2 tbsps of oil ( refer ‘the seasoning’ list ) in the same kadai, splutter the cumin seeds and sauté the green chillies, curry leaves
  • Add the ground masala (the raw ingredients given in the list). Sauté till the raw smell disappears and the aroma of masala spreads around. You may need to drizzle a bit more oil if you aren’t using coconut oil, or even otherwise, take care not to burn the masala as it tends to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • While it turns dark brown in colour, add the 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 2 tsps chilly powder.
  • Sauté along with the masala for a few seconds. stir in the onion-tomato paste along with 1- 11/2 cups of water. You may use the water used to rinse your mixie at this point
  • Dump the chicken pieces carefully when the gravy starts simmering.
  • Check salt and close the curry with a lid.The gravy splutters and it is always safe to close the curry allowing to simmer further.
  • Grind coconut to a thick paste adding enough water
  • After 5 minutes add the ground paste to the simmering curry.
  • Combine gently.Let is simmer again in the closed pan until the pieces turn soft and cooked. Check salt again if needed.
  • Simmer until the pieces turn tender.You will find oil separating on top, when the curry attains the right consistency. Not too thick nor watery.

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