Curry Chicken in Coconut Milk -Kerala Style


This mouth watering chicken curry drenched in coconut milk, seasoned with shallots, mustard and curry leaves is very unique to the character of Kerala. More specifically, Kottayam. Though so distinct to this region, this curry goes well with possibly anything you can think of – rice, rotis, naans, bread, dosas, idlis, paal appams, iddi appams an endless list. But, being from Kottayam, obviously I think it is best matched with kappa (tapioca). Come rain or shine, the malayalee in me is always ready for a bowl of kozhi curry and kappa.

Curry Chicken in Coconut milk - Kerala Style


2 lb chicken skinned and cleaned
1 large or 2 medium sized onions, finely sliced
4 -5 shallots finely sliced
1/2 tsp kerala garam masala
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp chili powder (base it on tolerable spice level)
4 tbsp coconut Oil
1 tbsp diced garlic
1 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder
1/2 cup canned coconut milk ( use 1 1/2 cup thick coconut milk if you are making fresh from scratch)
salt to taste
one sprig Curry Leaves
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/4tsp whole black pepper corns
2 tbsp lemon juice

Curry Chicken in Coconut milk - Kerala Style


  • Marinate skinned and cut chicken pieces with 2 tbsp of lemon juice, salt and 1/4 tsp of turmeric and refrigerate for an hour or two
  • Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in cooking pan, splutter 1/4 tsp mustard seeds, add cumin, pepper corns and onions and sauté till the onions are nicely caramelized. The onions have to attain a deep brown color.
  • Crush ginger and garlic, add to the pan and continue sautéing until the oil separates.
  • Add the marinated chicken pieces, turmeric, chili, coriander, garam masala powders and salt and mix well for 4 – 5 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water reduce heat and let it simmer covered for 20 – 25 mins or until the chicken gets tender and cooked, stirring occasionally.
  • When the chicken is well done, add coconut milk, mix it thoroughly and let it remain on very low flame for a minute or two.
  • Finally, shallow fry shallots with 3 tbsp of coconut oil remaining mustard seeds and curry leaves and season the curry.
  • Serve with white rice or Indian breads.
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    7 Responses to “Curry Chicken in Coconut Milk -Kerala Style”

    1. Shaye says:

      Thanks Julie. This was delicious.

    2. Shaye says:

      Thank you Julie. It was delicious.

    3. Varsha says:

      Writing in to say thank you 🙂 you are almost doing a service to the society (of people who need to look at recipes, to be effective in a kitchen) with your blog. tried this recipe and the beef fry and found my mal husband licking his fingers at the end of it. All thanks to you 🙂
      have a technical question though – why shallots and not just regular onions?

      • julie says:

        thanks varsha..glad u liked the recipes..about the shallots, they are milder and less pungent than onions, almost all malayalee savouries call for shallots….they provide a distinctly unique taste to this cuisine..

    4. Dahlia says:

      Julie, tried this for lunch today – had ppl over. Jus turned out yummmmm !

    5. julie says:

      thanks, aaditya. let me know what u think after trying.


    6. Aaditya says:

      Shud try this dish….Looks yummy

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